Tag Archives: electoral college

Electoral College

New Jersey no longer cares what how its citizens vote.

Yesterday Governor Corzine signed a law that would have New Jersey’s electors vote for the candidate who has the most popular votes nationally.

That is correct . . . New Jersey’s electorate does not matter.  The national popular vote will decide how the state’s electors in the Electoral College will vote, not how New Jersey’s citizens vote.

New Jersey on Sunday became the second state to enter a compact that would eliminate the Electoral College’s power to choose a president if enough states endorse the idea. Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed legislation that approves delivering the state’s 15 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The Assembly approved the bill last month and the Senate followed suit earlier this month.

This is a reaction to the Democrat Party still feeling Al Gore won the 2000 election.  What it, and apparently the Garden State’s government, does not understand is the popular vote does not elect presidents. Rather, an Electoral College votes for the president.  Citizens when they pull the lever are actually voting for the slate of Electors.  Electors are supposed to vote for whom their constituents have voted.  Occasionally there is a protest vote.  These faithless electors have been few in our history.

New Jersey’s state constitutuion states:

ARTICLE II
ELECTIONS AND SUFFRAGE
SECTION I
(c)
Any person registered as a voter in any election district of this State who has removed or shall remove to another state or to another county within this State and is not able there to qualify to vote by reason of an insufficient period of residence in such state or county, shall, as a citizen of the United States, have the right to vote for electors for President and Vice President of the United States, only, by Presidential Elector Absentee Ballot, in the county from which he has removed, in such manner as the Legislature shall provide.

This will only take effect if enough states pass similar legislation.

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that our government is attempting to undermine its citizens like this.  But then again, we spent millions of dollars to move our presidential primary from June to February so New Jersey would be more relevant.

How relevant are we though?  No candidates are campaigning here.  And why should they?  On Super Tuesday, candidates will be stretched between New Jersey and Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho (Dem.), Illinois, Kansas (Dem.), Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana (GOP), New Mexico (Dem.), New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia (GOP).

We’ve come a long way from the New Jersey Plan.

Colorado’s Siege of the Electoral College

Amendment 36 is the proposition on Colorado’s ballot next month.

creating procedures for allocating Colorado’s electoral votes for president and vice-president of the United States, based on the proportion of ballots that are cast in this state for each presidential ticket

I have written about this here and here.

Today, USA Today reported Gallup’s latest Colorado poll. Presently, 53% of Colorado’s likely voters are against, 39% are for, and 8% have no opinion on Amendment 36. The against numbers are up from earlier polling. This is a good trend. We need more understanding of the electoral college, not more attacks to it.

Electoral College: Colorado & Michigan

Yesterday I wrote about Colorado’s ballot initiative to split the state’s nine electoral college votes. If it passes, the vote would split this year. This is very bad form and against what the founding fathers established for electing the president.

This morning, Colorado Governor Bill Owens was interviewed on Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace asked the governor about this. At first he said he was against the initiative. He made a good point in his reasons why. Splitting the vote would minimize Colorado’s voice in a national election. Because the vote would be split, instead of an all-or-nothing approach, national candidates would spend less time in state campaigning thinking there is no way to win the entire state, but being happy with a partial “win”.

Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey Republican leader, needs to heed the governor’s advice. Kyrillos has stated that splitting the New Jersey electoral college vote would make the Garden State relevant in national politics.

Unfortunately, Governor Owens qualified his opposition to the vote split later by stating he would be in favor of it if all states were to re-vamp their electoral college votes. Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm agreed that a popular vote should elect the president.

Let this just be election rhetoric and not the beginning of a movement. Our country’s history is steeped in the electoral college. This is not the time to overhaul the work of the founding fathers.

Electoral College

I read with interest a few weeks ago a WSJ article detailing an initiative in Colorado to change how electoral college votes are issued. Traditionally, it is a winner take all approach. Apparently, Maine and Nebraska have changed their law to permit a split of their electoral college vote. Colorado desires the same thing.

Colorado’s initiative is particularly scary for if it passes it takes effect immediately, meaning the state’s votes could be split for the presidential election that is taking place simultaneously. Furthermore, it appears this is a pure political move. Colorado is a red state, meaning Bush has it locked up. Very little money from either party is being spent in the Rocky State for there is no expectation that Kerry can win.

But if the initiative passes, Kerry stands to split the vote, for he is popular in the urban areas (Denver, Colorado Springs, etc.). So, he wouldn’t win all of Colorado’s votes, but could walk away with a fraction. Every vote counts in the race to 270.

As I mentioned on Baseball Crank, what makes us think we know how to do this better that the founding fathers? The election of the president is not the same as the student body president. This is one area in which I join the education bashers of America. We need to teach our students civics far better than we have.

Not to be undone by Colorado, NJ State Sen. Joe Kyrillos, the state Repupublican leader, has called for a change in the dispersal of New Jersey’s electoral college votes. He claims that splitting the vote would allow New Jersey to be more prominent in national elections. This sounds vaguely familiar. A few years ago, there was a push among New Jersey Republicans to move the state primary up earlier in the election cycle for the same reason.

Instead of changing the rules to help a party’s chances of winning, perhaps running better campaigns in opponent’s strong states will put the state in play. For instance, if President Bush were to campaign in New Jersey, do you think the Kerry campaign would feel pressure? Instead of writing off states, only to know you can claim a vote here and a vote there, run a smarter campaign that will win your candidate the entire state.

Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton did a pretty good job hashing this out a long time ago. Kerry, Bush, et al. need to concentrate on current events, not law changes.