Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Make the "Electoral College" a simple point system

I'll admit it created a bit of excitement and curiosity for me - the idea that we could have a true crisis where the Presidential electors would revolt and send the 2016 Presidential election to the House of Representatives. It was the last-ditch effort and final sliver of hope for the #NeverTrump movement. Many dismayed liberals and Democrats pinned their hopes and dreams on the idea of the "Hamilton Electors" voting against the majority of the people in their state and choosing someone other than Donald Trump (or HRC for that matter as the case turned out to be). But, alas, it was not to be. And that got me thinking about the whole charade of the Electoral College - really, what's the point of the actual voters showing up to the capitol to "cast a ballot" if the action is purely ceremonial.

The Electoral College appears to exist for two reasons:
  1. It provides equal representation to voters in low-population states and "guarantees" that the candidates must consider and try to win their votes. It over-rides a straight popular vote election.
  2. It was a safety-valve put in by the Founding Fathers, who truly did not trust the common man to elect an appropriately qualified leader to the office of the Presidency.
Yet, we now know the rather shakey ground for both those arguments. The population center claim may still be somewhat relevant, though critics have reasonably argued that low-population states now carry significantly more weight than they should. And, the idea that electors could over-ride the popular vote if they didn't trust the selection of the masses has been all but nullified by the laws in many states that legally bind and mandate electors follow their state's popular vote.

So, it's purely ceremonial ... and a complete waste of time and debate. By whatever legal means necessary, the US Election Commission and the Congress should simply shift the idea of "electoral votes" to a point system. If a candidate gets 270+ "electoral votes," or points, that person is automatically declared the winner.

Enough with the drama of actual voters who don't do anything but "rubber stamp" what the country already knows.

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