Unpopular Vote

A compilation of electoral college crash courses

Robb's Vote May Not Go to Bush
GOP mayor may use his Electoral College role to lodge protest against the president
South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb said today he may vote against George W. Bush in the Electoral College, even if the president carries West Virginia's popular vote.
Charleston Daily Mail, September 8, 2004

In Voters' Hands
Can Colorado voters act as the state's "legislature," as defined by the U.S. Constitution, and change by initiative the manner of selection of presidential electors? Whatever the answer, U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock rightly concluded that it's not for the federal courts to decide.
Rocky Mountain News, August 27, 2004

Group Pushes for Vote Switch: Colo. Would Split Presidential Tally
The wealthy president of a Brazilian university is bankrolling an initiative to end Colorado's winner-take-all presidential electoral system.
—Susan Greene The Denver Post, June 15, 2004

Flash Back to 2000

Pressure Mounts for Electoral Reform
Washington is filled with talk about the deep divisions brought about by the election, but if there is an issue that Republicans, Democrats, and most Americans for that matter agree upon, it is that something must be done to improve the electoral system.
—Kevin Anderson BBC News, December 16, 2000

Electoral College—An Obsolete Concept?
By tonight, the candidate who won the popular vote may find himself without a credible claim to the presidency. Once a topic for high school debating teams, the Electoral College has now shot to the top of the nation's political agenda.
The San Francisco Chronicle, November 26, 2000

Who Are the Electoral College?
Faithless Electors
1960—Oklahoma Republican elector does not cast vote for Richard Nixon
1968—North Carolina Republican elector casts protest vote for George Wallace
1972—Virginia Republican elector casts vote for Libertarian
1976—Washington Republican elector votes for Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford
1988—West Virginia Democrat elector votes for Lloyd Bentsen for president instead of Michael Dukakis
All US states nominate representatives to the Electoral College which formally chooses the president.
—Kevin Anderson BBC News, November 14, 2000

In Defense of the Electoral College
Critics have long derided the Electoral College as a fusty relic of a bygone era, an unnecessary institution that one day might undermine democracy by electing a minority president. That day has arrived, assuming Gov. Bush wins the Florida recount as seems likely.
—John Samples The Cato Institute, November 10, 2000

The Electoral College, Unfair From Day One
NEW HAVEN — As we await results from the Florida recount, two things should be clear. First, if George W. Bush, having apparently lost the popular vote, does indeed win at least 270 electoral votes when the Electoral College meets, he is the lawful winner, who played by the Constitution's rules and won.
—Akhil Reed Amar The New York Times, November 9, 2000

The Case Against the Electoral College
The nation holds its breath as it awaits the results of the ballot recount in Florida. It's as simple as this: the winner of Florida's popular vote wins the presidency
—Steven Hill & Rob Richie The Hartford Courant, November 9, 2000

Electoral College System Understood By Few
Think you're voting for president? Think again.
NEW YORK (CNN) — If you think you are going to cast a vote for one of the presidential candidates, think again—and look again at the small print on the ballot of that state.
—Garrick Utley CNN, November 7, 2000

Electoral College Outlives Usefulness
George W. Bush and Al Gore have been criticizing each other for "fuzzy math." But how's this for fuzzy math: There is a real chance that the presidential candidate who wins the most votes this year will not win the election.
—John B. Anderson USA Today, November 2, 2000

Math Against Tyranny
When you cast your vote this month, you're not directly electing the president—you're electing members of the electoral college. They elect the president. An archaic, unnecessary system? Mathematics shows, says one concerned American, that by giving your vote to another, you're ensuring the future of our democracy.
—Will Hively Discover Magazine, November 1996

Fix System Before We Elect 'Loser President'
If most American voters cast ballots for George W. Bush, but Al Gore still manages to end up in the White House, folks would suspect the election was fixed.
—Burt Constable The Daily Herald (IL), October 26, 2000

The Perils of the Electoral College
Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore are riding a roller coaster in the presidential contest, with first one in the lead, then the other. Even with Gov. Bush in the lead on the popular voter, some odds makers still give Gore the lead in the projected Electoral College vote. Bizarrely enough, in the case of such a head-on collision, the U.S. Constitution trumps the vote of the people.
—Steven Hill Roll Call, October 2000

Time to Reform the Electoral College?
In the 1992 presidential race, Democratic candidate Bill Clinton accomplished what at the time seemed impossible: winning the state of California—then a Republican stronghold—over President George Bush. Clinton courted California like no other national office-seeker had before and was able to use his win there to sew up the election.
—Ellen Sung Policy.com, July 27, 2000


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