Electoral College Revision

III - States eliminating the winner-take-all method of choosing presidential electoral votes,

Under the current method of “winner-take-all” there are many disenfranchised voters in each state. Under the Constitution each state sets the rules and procedure for their elections. States should follow the lead of Maine and Nebraska to award electoral votes on another basis. They award two by the popular vote and the balance by Congressional District winner. For a complete analysis of the Electoral College go to:

https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL30804.html An analysis of alternative methods: https://www.270towin.com/alternative-electoral-college-allocation-methods/

Using an alternative method of awarding the electoral votes would greatly change the dynamics of the Presidential Election and even though it may not change the overall outcome, it will bring the election closer to the people. Those voters who now feel disenfranchised could have a voice. In states that have major party dominance by one party, the voters of the other party feel disenfranchised and can lack motivation to even vote because they don’t feel like their vote even counts. 

An option that takes the Maine and Nebraska approach a step further in reflecting the popular vote would have Electoral votes awarded proportionally, rather than have any type of winner-takes-all approach in deciding these votes. The question becomes whether to use the Congressional District or the proportional vote method. For those states with fewer electoral votes it makes a huge difference on whether there is any chance of voters whose politics differ from that of the majority in their states having an impact on the outcome of the election. Another factor seems to be the dominance of the majority party in the state. In the last election Maine, with four votes, had one congressional district vote for the candidate who lost the election statewide. They had three Democrat electors and one Republican. In Nebraska, with five votes, again one district voted for the losing statewide candidate. So four electors were Republican and one Democrat. In essence, it was a trade-off.

In the seven states (six states and D.C.) who have only one Congressional District all Electoral votes would be given to the winner statewide unless the three votes were awarded proportionally. There would then be more chance for the minority candidate in that state to gain an electoral vote. This would be true also for those states like Idaho with four votes and with a dominant majority party. In Maine and Nebraska, considering the statewide percentage of votes for the two candidates, they would still  have the same number of electors for the candidates. Only fourteen states have 10 or more Electoral votes. We now know the numbers from the 2020 Census. Six states gained a member of Congress with Texas gaining two. The other states gaining a seat are Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. Montana's gain moved them out of the one CD category. Seven states lost representation, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia losing one each. Now that the number of electoral votes each state is awarded from the census is known, redistricting will begin. Reapportionment 

The number of Electoral college votes a state has and the circumstances present in each state will make a difference in the method chosen. For example in Idaho, using the Congressional District method would not in the current political climate give any EC votes for the second place candidate. Proportional selection would be very unlikely for the minority party not to have an elector selected. Each state will have to make the decisions how their electors are chosen. Each candidate’s Electors may need to be ranked. When states have fewer than ten electoral votes the method selected makes more of a difference. Minority voters would not be disenfranchised. Consider also the disenfranchisement of Independent voters.

There is a movement to eliminate the Electoral College and go to a popular vote. One of the arguments used is that it benefits the smaller states. In 1787, when the Constitution was written, one of the compromises made was that each state would have two Senators. This does favor the smaller states but the House is totally based on population, favoring the larger states. The larger population states with 10 or more electoral votes have a representation per EC vote ranging from California with 732,903 to Minnesota's 570,975. Not including the states with only one representative, the smaller states range from Louisiana where each electoral vote represents a population of 582,684 to Montana representing 271,352 population. (2020 Census- State Population and the Distribution of Electoral Votes and Representatives.) found at www.thegreenpapers.com/Census20/HouseAndElectors.phtml  See also Note 4 Note 4 Let us examine the way these numbers are derived. After the 2020 Census the total population of the US was 331,108,434. Dividing this number by 435, the number of Congressional
Districts the average size for each CD was 761,168. This number was divided into the population number for each state to determine how many CDs each state could have, Idaho's number came out to 2.49 and we were awarded 2 Members of Congress, so our population per CD came out to be 920,689, or 159,521 over the ideal population. In this instance the small state comes out on the short end.. When the numbers from the 2 Senators per state are added in (as in the Electoral College vote) the numbers do favor the smaller states.

Category: National and State