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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Split electoral vote system good for state

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gov. Dave Heineman and former Gov. Charley Thone say they'd like to trash the law that divides Nebraska's five electoral votes in presidential elections.

We don't blame them. As Republican stalwarts, it's their job to get their party as many votes as possible.

Only Nebraska, which adopted the current system in 1991, and Maine can split their electoral votes.

But we've never split our electoral votes -- until this year, that is.

William Forsee, a high school biology teacher, followed the wishes of his 2nd District constituents and voted for Barack Obama on Monday. In doing so, he gave Obama the first Nebraska electoral vote for a Democrat since Barry Goldwater frightened us into voting for Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Gov. Heineman didn't have to remind the president elect that Obama had, indeed, won an electoral vote from the Cornhusker state.

"I was very well aware of that," Obama told the governor at a meeting two weeks ago.

Obama devoted much effort into winning that vote, organizing and opening several campaign offices in the 2nd District.

Thone argued that the system "dilutes whatever punch Nebraska has in the electoral college."

We disagree -- the current systems brought national attention to Nebraska that it never would have received otherwise. With only five electoral votes and fewer than 2 million people, anything that throws a positive spotlight on our state is a good thing.


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If all states would 'split' the electoral votes, the election results would be more in keeping with the number of popular votes. Our electoral facility, with modern communication equipment, actually antiquate the need for the Electoral College.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Dec 16, 2008, at 8:57 PM

The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. 98% of the 2008 campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided "battleground" states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 "battleground" states.. Similarly, in 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule enacted by 48 states, under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill is currently endorsed by 1,246 state legislators -- 460 sponsors (in 47 states) and an additional 786 legislators who have cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 22 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes -- 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

-- Posted by mvymvy on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 9:33 PM

Dividing a state's electoral votes by congressional district magnifies the worst features of our antiquated Electoral College system of electing the President. What the country needs is a national popular vote to make every person's vote equally important to presidential campaigns.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would less be less fair and accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country's congressional districts.

The district approach would not cause presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates' attention to issues of concern to the state. Under the winner-take-all rule (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. In California, the presidential race is competitive in only 3 of the state's 53 districts. Nationwide, there are only 55 "battleground" districts that are competitive in presidential elections. Under the present deplorable state-level winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states (including North Carolina and California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, seven-eighths of the nation's congressional districts would be ignored if the a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The National Popular Vote bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). This would guarantee the White House to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 22 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes -- 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See www.NationalPopularVote.com

-- Posted by mvymvy on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 9:34 PM


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