34 votes

The Movement To Skip The Electoral College Is About To Pass A Major Milestone

29 comments

  1. hungariantoast (edited ) Link
    Since this article doesn't actually explain what the National Popular Vote is or would do, here is a nice playlist of videos that introduces the basics of the idea and squashes some myths around...

    Since this article doesn't actually explain what the National Popular Vote is or would do, here is a nice playlist of videos that introduces the basics of the idea and squashes some myths around it and elections:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGbqlTjpDNNb20jhhWxYi77SkAEOeTeBm

    If you have any questions about how it currently works or how the National Popular Vote would work, ask me and I will try to write it out for you, because it did take me a bit of time to get my head around the idea.

    Overall, I am quite found of the idea, with the only con in my opinion being that, even if you and other voters successfully got the popular vote for your preferred candidate in your state, your electoral college might still vote for the other candidate if that's the way at least half of the other states vote, which essentially nullifies your vote, but it is at the behest of the rest of the nation, so it's a necessary evil in my opinion.

    The challenges facing this movement, especially as it gets closer to the 270 needed votes, is quite interesting and really displays the fragmentation between states in the United States, but I do think it's necessary.

    4 votes
  2. [17]
    heretohelp Link
    I will oppose a national popular vote with every ounce of my being. If that fails, I will join a movement trying to get my state to secede. Reason being, a national popular vote would allow...

    I will oppose a national popular vote with every ounce of my being. If that fails, I will join a movement trying to get my state to secede. Reason being, a national popular vote would allow campaigns to ignore rural issues and focus only on city issues.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      emdash Link Parent
      Do you believe rural people, by definition of living in a rural area, should have intrinsically & fundamentally more say in their country's politics than someone else?

      Do you believe rural people, by definition of living in a rural area, should have intrinsically & fundamentally more say in their country's politics than someone else?

      17 votes
      1. heretohelp Link Parent
        No. And I'm going to rethink my view on this.

        No. And I'm going to rethink my view on this.

        7 votes
      2. [5]
        JohnLeFou Link Parent
        While rural areas don’t deserve to have disproportionate sway, they should still be heard. Sometimes this issue is called tyranny of the majority which is a flaw of democracy with majority rules...

        While rural areas don’t deserve to have disproportionate sway, they should still be heard. Sometimes this issue is called tyranny of the majority which is a flaw of democracy with majority rules outcomes. This is especially true with our current two party problem . For the same reason we have the house and senate to mitigate this effect.

        However, jerrymandering and dilution of certain voter districts (again, via the 2 party system) have rotted the electoral college from the ground.

        Ultimately I believe a mathematical formula for drawing districts to ensure true neutrality would be the best way to cure the electoral college rather than dismantling it.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          spctrvl Link Parent
          What do you mean by neutrality? Do you mean having a district map that tends to elect parties matching a state's electorate, or one maximizing competitive elections, or just the inherent...

          What do you mean by neutrality? Do you mean having a district map that tends to elect parties matching a state's electorate, or one maximizing competitive elections, or just the inherent neutrality in making districting an algorithmic process?

          1 vote
          1. JohnLeFou Link Parent
            Neutrality in the sense of algorithmic outcomes. There is actually someone working mathematical redistricting. https://sinews.siam.org/Details-Page/detecting-gerrymandering-with-mathematics...

            Neutrality in the sense of algorithmic outcomes. There is actually someone working mathematical redistricting.

            https://sinews.siam.org/Details-Page/detecting-gerrymandering-with-mathematics

            However I acknowledge that mathematical approaches can still lead to bias. You might even argue that the mattingly formula biases toward democrats, but is that just because of urban areas lean more left or are rural right leaning areas being cracked?

            1 vote
        2. Qis Link Parent
          What kind of formula are you imagining -- and what aspects of the electoral college are you hoping to preserve?

          What kind of formula are you imagining -- and what aspects of the electoral college are you hoping to preserve?

        3. alyaza Link Parent
          this is honestly just a case for switching over to the popular vote system, not the electoral college, because the electoral college doesn't really allow the majority of them to be heard unless...

          While rural areas don’t deserve to have disproportionate sway, they should still be heard.

          this is honestly just a case for switching over to the popular vote system, not the electoral college, because the electoral college doesn't really allow the majority of them to be heard unless they constitute "swing states" because they're so irrelevant to the electoral process. that would change under a popular vote system, since their votes would be of equal value to everyone else's.

    2. alyaza Link Parent
      how does this work out when now candidates actually have an incentive to appeal to all voters and not just the voters in about 10 states, since their margins in traditionally non-competitive...

      Reason being, a national popular vote would allow campaigns to ignore rural issues and focus only on city issues.

      how does this work out when now candidates actually have an incentive to appeal to all voters and not just the voters in about 10 states, since their margins in traditionally non-competitive states would now matter since every vote counts an equal amount? if anything, i think you'd see the opposite: republicans would probably try to become more cosmopolitan to shave off democratic margins in the cities, and democrats would seek to represent rural places where they get routinely annihilated by 70-30 or more. both parties would almost certainly then have a vested interest in representing rural voters, since they're still around 30-35% of the nation.

      6 votes
    3. [6]
      Gaywallet Link Parent
      This map of the 2012 presidential campaign disagrees with your analysis. Ignoring rural issues is already happening, unless the rural issues are in a battleground state. Unless you live in one of...

      This map of the 2012 presidential campaign disagrees with your analysis. Ignoring rural issues is already happening, unless the rural issues are in a battleground state.

      Unless you live in one of the important dozen or so states, your rural issues simply do not matter to the president or anyone running for president. They are already ignoring you. If their attention is already zero, and this may increase their attention to a level above zero, this is a net gain.

      4 votes
      1. [5]
        heretohelp Link Parent
        Well, I live in a battleground state. I'm willing to accept that I may be biased because of that. And I need to reevaluate this.

        Well, I live in a battleground state. I'm willing to accept that I may be biased because of that. And I need to reevaluate this.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          Gaywallet Link Parent
          Ah you're one of the lucky ones. Glad to hear you're willing to re-evaluate, keeping an open mind about these things is important.

          Ah you're one of the lucky ones. Glad to hear you're willing to re-evaluate, keeping an open mind about these things is important.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            heretohelp Link Parent
            Thanks. Maybe I was just in a moldable moment tonight. Who knows. But I think I've totally changed my mind, which seems weird.

            Thanks. Maybe I was just in a moldable moment tonight. Who knows. But I think I've totally changed my mind, which seems weird.

            4 votes
            1. alyaza Link Parent
              this is probably because the electoral college was designed with the not-especially-democratic voting system and value of the 1700s and 1800s in mind, when democracy wasn't virtually ubiquitous as...

              this is probably because the electoral college was designed with the not-especially-democratic voting system and value of the 1700s and 1800s in mind, when democracy wasn't virtually ubiquitous as a decision-making system in politics, and as a consequence it pretty much falls apart the moment you scrutinize it against literally any modern democratic system--systems which nowadays would have have a little over 200 years of democratic experimentation in how to best represent the people to draw from and can therefore refine themselves as needed (and also aren't locked behind a borderline impossible process of change)

            2. Gaywallet Link Parent
              I think it's always a bit weird to change your mind on an important issue, but it's also good to know that you still can.

              I think it's always a bit weird to change your mind on an important issue, but it's also good to know that you still can.

    4. [2]
      hungariantoast Link Parent
      You really should have checked out that playlist of videos I put in my comment (which is currently sitting at the top of this topic's comment section). Myths About Big Cities Second video in the...

      You really should have checked out that playlist of videos I put in my comment (which is currently sitting at the top of this topic's comment section).

      Myths About Big Cities

      Second video in the list. Watch it.

  3. [11]
    masochist Link
    I'm very divided about this. The way I understand this working, it means that your vote for the president doesn't matter (which is materially different from it not counting). In the case where...

    I'm very divided about this. The way I understand this working, it means that your vote for the president doesn't matter (which is materially different from it not counting). In the case where your vote matches the popular vote for your state, your vote goes where you wanted it to. In the event that your vote doesn't match the popular vote for your state, your vote goes to the popular vote anyway.

    Ultimately, this doesn't really address the problem of first past the post voting, so I'm not sure if it's going to represent an actual improvement in US elections. I'd love to be wrong, here

    1 vote
    1. [7]
      alyaza Link Parent
      the literal opposite. it means your vote actually does matter no matter where you live because it renders the electoral college an irrelevant aspect of the election itself. the current system...

      I'm very divided about this. The way I understand this working, it means that your vote for the president doesn't matter (which is materially different from it not counting).

      the literal opposite. it means your vote actually does matter no matter where you live because it renders the electoral college an irrelevant aspect of the election itself. the current system probably drags down turnout significantly because the overwhelming majority of people who do bother to vote are basically "wasting" their votes because most people are either voting in a state massively opposed to their choice or massively in line with their choice. in a simplified 2 candidate race, for example, all the votes after 50% + 1 in hawaii or california for example are functionally wasted for democrats, and likewise in arkansas or texas for republicans because those votes cannot change the outcome once you've won a state. this wasting of votes immediately ceases to be the case once things are done on the basis of popular vote and not on the basis of an electoral college, because then all of those votes can potentially change the national outcome, regardless of how their state votes.

      the only reason it takes the form that it does and renders the state electors bound to the popular vote is because there's literally no other way to do it besides passing a constitutional amendment, which is not feasible on any level currently.

      Ultimately, this doesn't really address the problem of first past the post voting, so I'm not sure if it's going to represent an actual improvement in US elections. I'd love to be wrong, here

      it doesn't change FPTP, but it would still be an incredible improvement, because it means someone who loses the popular vote then can't actually win the presidential election, which should be literally the default for any system of governance but for some reason is not in america. we are pretty much the only people who think that's an acceptable thing that can happen, the person getting less votes than their opponent still winning on the basis of some bizarre quirk in the system, and it'd be super nice if we patched that up before it happens again and we end up with another president who loses by like 5% to their opponent but wins because they won a functionally arbitrary array of states.

      20 votes
      1. suspended Link Parent
        I've been aware of this problem since I was in elementary school (over 40 years) and can't believe it has taken this long for any semblance of a solution to raise its head.

        I've been aware of this problem since I was in elementary school (over 40 years) and can't believe it has taken this long for any semblance of a solution to raise its head.

        3 votes
      2. [5]
        masochist Link Parent
        Can you explain how my vote for anything other than the majority in a deeply colored state actually matters in this system? It just counts toward the popular vote candidate in any case. Under this...

        Can you explain how my vote for anything other than the majority in a deeply colored state actually matters in this system? It just counts toward the popular vote candidate in any case. Under this compact, all the votes plus 50% + 1 in Hawaii or California are still wasted; they are still more than is needed to decide where the electoral college votes go. How is this any different? Also,

        simplified 2 candidate race

        You mean every race.

        because it means someone who loses the popular vote then can't actually win the presidential election, which should be literally the default for any system of governance but for some reason is not in america. we are pretty much the only people who think that's an acceptable thing that can happen,

        I don't think many people in the US actually think that's a good idea. The electoral college has received widespread criticism for quite a long time. The only time I see support for it is when someone's favored candidate does well.

        1. [4]
          alyaza Link Parent
          ...votes literally aren't wasted in a popular vote system though? whoever wins the popular vote is the winner of the election once the NPVIC reaches the threshold of 270 effective electoral votes...

          Can you explain how my vote for anything other than the majority in a deeply colored state actually matters in this system? It just counts toward the popular vote candidate in any case. Under this compact, all the votes plus 50% + 1 in Hawaii or California are still wasted; they are still more than is needed to decide where the electoral college votes go. How is this any different? Also,

          ...votes literally aren't wasted in a popular vote system though? whoever wins the popular vote is the winner of the election once the NPVIC reaches the threshold of 270 effective electoral votes (which is when it actually becomes effective) regardless of how many electoral votes are won by the leading candidate, because all of those state electors are then obligated to cast their ballots in favor of the winner of the popular vote and not the winner of the electoral college. like, it is really straight forward. the electoral college has literally no bearing on the outcome of an election once the NPVIC is passed in states totaling 270 or more electoral votes.

          I don't think many people in the US actually think that's a good idea. The electoral college has received widespread criticism for quite a long time. The only time I see support for it is when someone's favored candidate does well.

          that's cool and all, but it's literally possible and has happened in almost ten percent of presidential elections so far! (5 times / 58 elections = 8.6% of all US presidential elections) so... evidently people are pretty okay with it just being a thing that happens and can happen and does happen, not least because it has now happened twice in this millennium and pretty much nothing has changed at all.

          5 votes
          1. [3]
            TheInvaderZim Link Parent
            Not being changed =/= people are okay with it. People are pretty damn not okay with a lot of things in our country, including how congress itself operates, but our system is inherently designed to...

            Not being changed =/= people are okay with it.

            People are pretty damn not okay with a lot of things in our country, including how congress itself operates, but our system is inherently designed to perpetuate itself.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              alyaza Link Parent
              let's be real, if most people genuinely thought it was a deal breaker of any kind they'd work to change it. you don't need that many people, relatively speaking, to enact radical changes.

              Not being changed =/= people are okay with it.

              let's be real, if most people genuinely thought it was a deal breaker of any kind they'd work to change it. you don't need that many people, relatively speaking, to enact radical changes.

              3 votes
              1. TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                I still disagree. If that were the case than our country would be torn apart by these small, (relatively) radical groups which have emerged in the last 5-10 years. Speaking for myself as a young...

                I still disagree. If that were the case than our country would be torn apart by these small, (relatively) radical groups which have emerged in the last 5-10 years.

                Speaking for myself as a young 20something, my entire generation is completely disenfranchised with our system. Its not that I and others dont want to see change, its that the system has immunized itself from it. You can even see it in the average age of our politicians. You can even see it in President Trump - literally almost half the voting population screaming for an upheaval of the system, and still, nothing has changed but the climate.

                1 vote
    2. burkaman Link Parent
      The popular vote of your state doesn't matter at all in this system. Your state electors vote with the combined popular vote of the entire nation, ignoring individual state results. The voter...

      The popular vote of your state doesn't matter at all in this system. Your state electors vote with the combined popular vote of the entire nation, ignoring individual state results. The voter makeup of your state is completely irrelevant.

      6 votes
    3. Gaywallet Link Parent
      It would mean that the person voted into office is the person whom the most people voted for. Accurately representing the will (read: vote) of the people is an improvement over the current system....

      I'm not sure if it's going to represent an actual improvement in US elections.

      It would mean that the person voted into office is the person whom the most people voted for. Accurately representing the will (read: vote) of the people is an improvement over the current system. If you do not agree, then I don't know what to tell you.

      this doesn't really address the problem of first past the post voting

      You're absolutely right, but it does solve the problem of a person getting into office which less people voted for than the opponent. It solves the problem of primaries being concentrated in battleground states. It solves the problem of a person's vote in Wyoming having more weight than any other state in the country.

      4 votes
    4. BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
      The current system for electing president is a nested FPTP system. That is there are two layers of it being FPTP. The first layer is that a successful candidate needs to get a majority of a...

      The current system for electing president is a nested FPTP system. That is there are two layers of it being FPTP. The first layer is that a successful candidate needs to get a majority of a state's votes to secure electoral votes. The second layer is that they then have to get a majority of all the electoral votes available in the electoral college nationally.

      What this would do is eliminate ONE (but importantly not both) of those layers. For those who think FPTP vote structures are the problem, this would be a modest improvement, though the central flaw of one of the FPTP layers would still be in place.

      Is that what you're getting at? If FPTP is the problem, this at least wouldn't make the problem worse.

      4 votes