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Posts Tagged ‘presidential elections’

American Idol: Should We Elect Presidents by Popular Vote?

August 15th, 2011

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This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Eleven years after the 2000 election, politicians are finally trying to reform the electoral college. Reformers want the President to be chosen by national popular vote. A popular vote system would certainly be different. But would it be better?

Eight states and the District of Columbia have passed the National Popular Vote (NPV) bill. That’s a law requiring that the states’ electoral votes be cast for the winner of the national popular vote, no matter how the eight states themselves vote. But there’s a condition: the law will not go into effect until states with a total of 270 electoral votes — a majority of the Electoral College — pass the NPV bill.

The states that have passed the bill so far have a total of 132 electoral votes. That’s nearly halfway to a majority. They include some of the bluest states in the country: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, Vermont and Washington, as well as California and D.C. None of those states (or D.C.) has voted for a Republican for President since 1988.

Is something partisan going on here? Not really, said California Gov. Jerry Brown when he signed the NPV bill last week. “It seems logical that the occupant of the White House should be the candidate who wins the most votes,” Brown said. “That is basic, fair democracy.” Read the rest of this entry »