8 November 2004
Facelifting the Electoral College
The last paragraph of a Houston Chronicle editorial objecting to the Electoral College:
[A]n October Gallup poll showed that 61 percent of Americans favor amending the U.S. Constitution to elect presidents by direct vote rather than electors. In a year when the election process was mercifully low on snafus, a serious reform of the electoral system perhaps apportionment of each state's electors according to the popular vote or number of congressional districts carried is ripe for national debate.
As an experiment, The Prop, resting up in Pavement Narrows, New Jersey, dropped the current system into his spreadsheet, noted the results Bush 286, Kerry 252 and twiddled the numbers as follows:
Take the Congressional district electoral votes in each state and award them proportionally by the result of that state's popular vote. Give the 2 Senatorial electoral votes to the winner of the plurality. E.g. in NJ the popular vote went 53% to Kerry, 46% to Bush. NJ has 13 Congressional Electoral votes plus 2 Senate Electoral votes. 53% of 13 rounds off to 7 votes plus Kerry gets the 2 Senate votes for his overall win: so Kerry = 9, Bush = 6.
According to this formula, Oklahoma goes from 7-0 Bush to 5-2 Bush. And what's the total overall?
Applied to all states this year President Bush gets... um... 286 Electoral Votes and Senator Kerry gets 252.
Well, um, okay.
What is desired by most of the critics of the Electoral College, I suspect, is a system whereby anyone named George Bush automatically loses.Posted at 7:42 PM to Political Science Fiction
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