Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-22-2019, 06:58 AM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,870

Fed Court: Presidential electors can vote as they wish


A court ruling just changed how we pick our president
Quote:
A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that presidential electors who cast the actual ballots for president and vice president are free to vote as they wish and cannot be required to follow the results of the popular vote in their states.

The decision could give a single elector the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election — if the popular vote results in an apparent Electoral College tie.

"This issue could be a ticking time bomb in our divided politics. It's not hard to imagine how a single faithless elector, voting differently than his or her state did, could swing a close presidential election," said Mark Murray, NBC News senior political editor.

It hasn't been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday's ruling says states cannot do that.
...

But once the electors are chosen and report in December to cast their votes as members of the Electoral College, they are fulfilling a federal function, and a state's authority has ended. "The states' power to appoint electors does not include the power to remove them or nullify their votes," the court said.

Because the Constitution contains no requirement for electors to follow the wishes of a political party, "the electors, once appointed, are free to vote as they choose," assuming that they cast their vote for a legally qualified candidate.

....
Tweet from WH in 3... 2... 1--
__________________
“Master, I’ve discovered the answer! Knock and the door will be opened to you.” The master replied, “Who said the door was closed?”
  #2  
Old 08-22-2019, 07:09 AM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,434
I guess it wasn't good enough that the candidate with the most votes lost the last election. That wasn't safe enough. Lets take another step away from the voice of the people mattering to our "democracy". Are we still calling it a democracy?
Although, this sounds like an unpredictable case of "be careful what you ask for".
  #3  
Old 08-22-2019, 07:24 AM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 40,028
Given that this was clearly the original intent of having Electors in the first place, laws requiring them to vote as their state directed were always kinda questionable, IMHO.

But if the Electors were ever going to be a deliberative body in its choice of President, the time for that was December 2016. Having failed that moment, we really need a Constitutional amendment that takes Electors out of the picture, and reduces Electoral Votes to no more than a system of tallying the results.

And YES, I KNOW that we could really use a much more substantial reform than this: I'm all for electing the President by direct popular vote. BUT an amendment to get rid of the Electors themselves might actually stand a chance of passage, while any amendment with an apparent benefit to one party or the other would not.
  #4  
Old 08-22-2019, 07:35 AM
Jonathan Chance is offline
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 23,070
Well, I'd argue, ThelmaLou, that this changes how we elect our presidents in any way. There have always been faithless electors. It's a basic part of the process. Courts have ruled that states can require a pledge to vote a certain way but have never ruled that they are required to actually VOTE that way. I'd guess this ruling just affirms that fact.

Hell the first faithless elector goes back to the 1796 election, I believe. Looking, yeah. Samuel Miles voted Jefferson instead of his pledged Adams in 1796. Looking at it, it looks like it was a complicated time.
  #5  
Old 08-22-2019, 08:31 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 11,244
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Given that this was clearly the original intent of having Electors in the first place, laws requiring them to vote as their state directed were always kinda questionable, IMHO.

But if the Electors were ever going to be a deliberative body in its choice of President, the time for that was December 2016. Having failed that moment, we really need a Constitutional amendment that takes Electors out of the picture, and reduces Electoral Votes to no more than a system of tallying the results.

And YES, I KNOW that we could really use a much more substantial reform than this: I'm all for electing the President by direct popular vote. BUT an amendment to get rid of the Electors themselves might actually stand a chance of passage, while any amendment with an apparent benefit to one party or the other would not.
Good post, and I agree with pretty much all of it. There's no question that faithless electors are a horrifying prospect, but like it or not, it's part of the original constitution, and that mechanism has never been changed.

It's inevitable: there will one day be a day when the nightmare scenario happens, and I suspect that day will come sooner than we think. But imagine the fallout if, say, Donald Trump lost on election night but managed to bribe a handful of electors into changing their votes. He wouldn't even need to get them to switch to Trump; he could just bribe enough of them to vote for a write-in candidate or a third party candidate. He bribes them with some money up front, and then completes the bribe by offering electors political positions. then the election goes to the House, where the House, with a state delegation majority, votes for Trump. Imagine a race in which 55% of the country votes for a Democratic candidate, and yet the Republican loser wins the presidency. We're a lot closer to this moment than people realize.

Last edited by asahi; 08-22-2019 at 08:34 AM.
  #6  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:20 AM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 40,028
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
It's inevitable: there will one day be a day when the nightmare scenario happens, and I suspect that day will come sooner than we think. But imagine the fallout if, say, Donald Trump lost on election night but managed to bribe a handful of electors into changing their votes. He wouldn't even need to get them to switch to Trump; he could just bribe enough of them to vote for a write-in candidate or a third party candidate. He bribes them with some money up front, and then completes the bribe by offering electors political positions. then the election goes to the House, where the House, with a state delegation majority, votes for Trump. Imagine a race in which 55% of the country votes for a Democratic candidate, and yet the Republican loser wins the presidency. We're a lot closer to this moment than people realize.
It almost happened that way in 2000. In the last week or two before the election, Bush's team was more worried about winning the popular vote and losing the electoral vote than the other way around. And his team was prepared to launch a campaign to persuade electors to switch their votes to ratify the will of the people. New York Daily News, Nov. 1, 2000:
Quote:
So what if Gore wins such crucial battleground states as Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and thus captures the magic 270 electoral votes while Bush wins the overall nationwide popular vote? "The one thing we don't do is roll over," says a Bush aide. "We fight."

How? The core of the emerging Bush strategy assumes a popular uprising, stoked by the Bushies themselves, of course. In league with the campaign - which is preparing talking points about the Electoral College's essential unfairness - a massive talk-radio operation would be encouraged. "We'd have ads, too," says a Bush aide, "and I think you can count on the media to fuel the thing big-time. Even papers that supported Gore might turn against him because the will of the people will have been thwarted."

Local business leaders will be urged to lobby their customers, the clergy will be asked to speak up for the popular will and Team Bush will enlist as many Democrats as possible to scream as loud as they can. "You think 'Democrats for Democracy' would be a catchy term for them?"

asks a Bush adviser. The universe of people who would be targeted by this insurrection is small - the 538 currently anonymous folks called electors, people chosen by the campaigns and their state party organizations as a reward for their service over the years. If you bother to read the small print when you're in the booth, you'll notice that when you vote for President you're really selecting presidential electors who favor one candidate or the other. Generally, these electors are not legally bound to support the person they're supposedly pledged to when they gather in the various state capitals to cast their ballots on Dec. 18. The rules vary from state to state, but enough of the electors could theoretically switch to Bush if they wanted to - if there was sufficient pressure on them to ratify the popular verdict.
Another thing that almost happened in 2000 was that, while the Florida outcome was being debated in the courts, the GOP-controlled Florida legislature considered meeting to choose a GOP slate of electors by fiat.

Since each state has the authority to determine how to choose its electors, really the only question would have been, is it kosher for them to change the rules after Election Day just because they didn't like the popular outcome? I could easily see a Supreme Court like the one we've got supporting a GOP legislature that overruled the vote in this manner.
  #7  
Old 08-22-2019, 08:18 AM
Grey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 6,831
I'm confused. I thought that following the 2016 November election there was a whole host of people calling for the EC to act to prevent an unfit person becoming president. From this outsider's perspective it sounded very much like an unused practice EC voters could, but hadn't, use. I take it that wasn't the case?
__________________
"When they discover the centre of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it." : Bernard Bailey
  #8  
Old 08-26-2019, 01:24 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey View Post
I'm confused. I thought that following the 2016 November election there was a whole host of people calling for the EC to act to prevent an unfit person becoming president. From this outsider's perspective it sounded very much like an unused practice EC voters could, but hadn't, use. I take it that wasn't the case?
Liberals were pleading with electors to go faithless in 2016. I suspect that'll become a standard part of presidential campaigns going forward: influence campaigns against the electors themselves throughout most of November and December every fourth year.
  #9  
Old 08-22-2019, 08:26 AM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,870
The difference appears to be that presently the votes of so-called "faithless electors" can be discarded and not counted. From my quote: "It hasn't been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday's ruling says states cannot do that."

The reason I expect objections from the WH (and likely from Uncle Mitch) is that anything that diminishes or appears to diminish control over electors is sumpin' the Pubbies aren't gonna like. Mitch like everyone on a short leash. With a choke collar.
__________________
“Master, I’ve discovered the answer! Knock and the door will be opened to you.” The master replied, “Who said the door was closed?”
  #10  
Old 08-22-2019, 09:31 AM
Ravenman is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
The difference appears to be that presently the votes of so-called "faithless electors" can be discarded and not counted. From my quote: "It hasn't been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday's ruling says states cannot do that."
Yeah, states that undermined the independence of electors have always been acting illegally. So what?

The EC is about the dumbest possible system for voting, but like other laws, we can’t just decide not to follow the law. That’s Trumpism.
  #11  
Old 08-22-2019, 09:45 AM
BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps
Posts: 21,847
In the future, all one needs to do to become president will be having the financial resources to buy off 270 electors. Or more realistically, either party starts off with 200 guaranteed electors and then they just have to buy 70 more. So we celebrate a Biden win next November, only to find out the Republican elite have bought enough electors to give us four more years of tweets and kleptocracy.

Last edited by BobLibDem; 08-22-2019 at 09:47 AM.
  #12  
Old 08-22-2019, 09:55 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 11,244
The electoral college reflected the values and prevailing attitudes of the time, notably the belief among free, property-owning, wealthy elite white males that political power must remain in the hands of the elite class because the lower rungs of society are inherently unqualified to manage self-governance. While there may be some truth to the notion that democracy invites many unqualified citizens to participate, there is no evidence that an aristocratic class is capable of governing in the interests of broader society. Moreover, the EC, like other aspects of the original constitution, is squarely at odds with our modern social and political values and our understanding of what a modern democratic and egalitarian society ought to look like.

But I don't see anything or anyone changing it until the system breaks, and maybe that's really what's happening right now, and maybe that's what Trumpism truly represents: the disintegration of the American republic as it has been defined by the Enlightenment era constitution. So perhaps it is the case that the system must first fail incontrovertibly in the eyes of the average person before there can be sufficient critical mass needed to transform America from an Enlightenment republic into something more advanced.
  #13  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:23 AM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 40,028
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
While there may be some truth to the notion that democracy invites many unqualified citizens to participate, there is no evidence that an aristocratic class is capable of governing in the interests of broader society.
Tru dat!
  #14  
Old 08-22-2019, 01:05 PM
Ají de Gallina's Avatar
Ají de Gallina is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lima, Perú
Posts: 4,548
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
The electoral college reflected the values and prevailing attitudes of the time, notably the belief among free, property-owning, wealthy elite white males that political power must remain in the hands of the elite class because the lower rungs of society are inherently unqualified to manage self-governance. While there may be some truth to the notion that democracy invites many unqualified citizens to participate, there is no evidence that an aristocratic class is capable of governing in the interests of broader society. Moreover, the EC, like other aspects of the original constitution, is squarely at odds with our modern social and political values and our understanding of what a modern democratic and egalitarian society ought to look like.

But I don't see anything or anyone changing it until the system breaks, and maybe that's really what's happening right now, and maybe that's what Trumpism truly represents: the disintegration of the American republic as it has been defined by the Enlightenment era constitution. So perhaps it is the case that the system must first fail incontrovertibly in the eyes of the average person before there can be sufficient critical mass needed to transform America from an Enlightenment republic into something more advanced.
No. It avoids the problema of a few cities on both coasts determining the results of a federal election. It is exactly the opposite of what you said, it gives more access to minorities.
  #15  
Old 08-22-2019, 11:36 AM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 42,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
In the future, all one needs to do to become president will be having the financial resources to buy off 270 electors. Or more realistically, either party starts off with 200 guaranteed electors and then they just have to buy 70 more. So we celebrate a Biden win next November, only to find out the Republican elite have bought enough electors to give us four more years of tweets and kleptocracy.
No, they can still throw them into prison for life for accepting bribes.
  #16  
Old 08-22-2019, 11:45 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Champion Chili Chef
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 63,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
No, they can still throw them into prison for life for accepting bribes.
Do you expect the government that wins because of this to pursue such a case?
  #17  
Old 08-22-2019, 11:35 AM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 42,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
The difference appears to be that presently the votes of so-called "faithless electors" can be discarded and not counted. From my quote: "It hasn't been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday's ruling says states cannot do that."

...
I believe the state can still punish them, but their vote stands, which makes sense.
  #18  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:52 PM
Ravenman is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I believe the state can still punish them, but their vote stands, which makes sense.
No it doesn’t. Being thrown in jail for exercising a right is fucking nonsense.
  #19  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:52 PM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 83,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
The reason I expect objections from the WH (and likely from Uncle Mitch) is that anything that diminishes or appears to diminish control over electors is sumpin' the Pubbies aren't gonna like. Mitch like everyone on a short leash. With a choke collar.
Why assume this diminishes their control? If anything, I feel it gives the Republicans another tool to rig elections. Now they can completely ignore the results of the general election and work on controlling the way three hundred Electors vote.
  #20  
Old 08-22-2019, 01:13 PM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Why assume this diminishes their control? If anything, I feel it gives the Republicans another tool to rig elections. Now they can completely ignore the results of the general election and work on controlling the way three hundred Electors vote.
Maybe I'm completely missing the boat, but I see this ruling (if it stands) as turning the electors into a bunch of wild cards, subject to no one's control. If they have consciences, that could be a good thing.
__________________
“Master, I’ve discovered the answer! Knock and the door will be opened to you.” The master replied, “Who said the door was closed?”
  #21  
Old 08-22-2019, 01:22 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Champion Chili Chef
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 63,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Maybe I'm completely missing the boat, but I see this ruling (if it stands) as turning the electors into a bunch of wild cards, subject to no one's control. If they have consciences, that could be a good thing.
I don't see any evidence that the conscience of those 538 electors will be any better than the conscience of the 153 million they represent. On the other hand it seems likely that it would be easier to manipulate 538 electors than it would 153 million voters...especially now that state control has been stripped away.
  #22  
Old 08-22-2019, 02:10 PM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I don't see any evidence that the conscience of those 538 electors will be any better than the conscience of the 153 million they represent. On the other hand it seems likely that it would be easier to manipulate 538 electors than it would 153 million voters...especially now that state control has been stripped away.
Well, what if in the last election, the electors had decided to make the electoral college vote reflect the popular vote?
__________________
“Master, I’ve discovered the answer! Knock and the door will be opened to you.” The master replied, “Who said the door was closed?”
  #23  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:54 PM
Saint Cad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: N of Denver & S of Sanity
Posts: 13,668
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Maybe I'm completely missing the boat, but I see this ruling (if it stands) as turning the electors into a bunch of wild cards, subject to no one's control. If they have consciences, that could be a good thing.
I doubt it. What it the percentage of faithless electors in states that do not have faithless elector laws? Very very small.
__________________
When I was a boy, a mere lad, A FAERIE APPEARED UNTO ME AND TOLD ME I WOULD BE BOTH POPE AND KING! But … I am a bastard. And a pretender.

-Richard Hariss
  #24  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:58 PM
BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps
Posts: 21,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
I doubt it. What it the percentage of faithless electors in states that do not have faithless elector laws? Very very small.
Now that they have a green light to do as they please, do you think Democrats can win any close election? If Democrats win <300 EVs, you can bet that millions will be given to enough faithless electors to change the outcome.
  #25  
Old 08-22-2019, 05:53 PM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 83,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Maybe I'm completely missing the boat, but I see this ruling (if it stands) as turning the electors into a bunch of wild cards, subject to no one's control. If they have consciences, that could be a good thing.
You could substitute federal judges for electors in that post and it would be equally true in theory. But then we can look at the reality of judicial appointments.
  #26  
Old 08-23-2019, 10:12 AM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Maybe I'm completely missing the boat, but I see this ruling (if it stands) as turning the electors into a bunch of wild cards, subject to no one's control. If they have consciences, that could be a good thing.
What the ruling does is clarify/establish the fact that while the States have authority over the process by which the electors are elected/chosen, their actual participation in the Electoral College is a Federal exercise, and outside the authority of the States.

So basically they're saying that the States can't try to mandate how an elector will vote- they have no authority to interfere in the Federal Electoral College process like that.

The original intent of the Electoral College was that it would be some kind of august body of upstanding citizens, etc.. elected to choose a president. Kind of like a one-time, one-purpose Congress with one thing to vote on, if you want to think about it that way.

But over time, this morphed into something different- rather than electing individual electors, most states have their citizens elect a "slate" of electors chosen by each party, and in some states, there are penalties on the books for electors who don't vote according to what the "slate" is supposed to vote for.

This ruling is saying that no, the electors' votes are not subject to penalties like that, as they're part of a Federal process, and the States' authority ends at the point when they're elected.
  #27  
Old 08-22-2019, 01:17 PM
Ají de Gallina's Avatar
Ají de Gallina is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lima, Perú
Posts: 4,548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Why assume this diminishes their control? If anything, I feel it gives the Republicans another tool to rig elections. Now they can completely ignore the results of the general election and work on controlling the way three hundred Electors vote.
Why can't the Democrats want to rig elections too?
  #28  
Old 08-22-2019, 05:50 PM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 83,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
Why can't the Democrats want to rig elections too?
I'm just looking at the historical record. Republicans are generally the ones who rig elections.
  #29  
Old 08-26-2019, 01:39 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
Why can't the Democrats want to rig elections too?
They tried everything they could think of to overturn the 2016 results: recounts, persuading electors to go faithless, objecting to the certification of the vote, etc.
  #30  
Old 08-27-2019, 03:41 PM
E-DUB's Avatar
E-DUB is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,884
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
They tried everything they could think of to overturn the 2016 results: recounts, persuading electors to go faithless, objecting to the certification of the vote, etc.
I don't recall the Democrats engaging in any recounts. I remember Jill Stein trying to do it but, to be fair, if not for her no recounts would have been necessary. Nor do I recall any attempts to persuade electors to "go faithless". I, personally would have liked to have seen that or at least having them place greater faith in the country itself. And it could have happened if Hillary had instructed "her" electors to cote, instead, for a rational Republican like, say, John Kasich. Then see if any Republican electors would follow suit. Think of what the country could have been spared.
  #31  
Old 08-27-2019, 03:45 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 42,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
They tried everything they could think of to overturn the 2016 results: recounts, persuading electors to go faithless, objecting to the certification of the vote, etc.
Cite? Cite? Cite?
__________________
I am not a real Doctor
  #32  
Old 08-22-2019, 09:00 AM
Red Wiggler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,997
How do, or did, Colorado Democrats choose their electors who will appear on the ballot and how did the Baca guy fall through the cracks? I guess I don't really understand the mechanics of our convoluted system.
  #33  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:21 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
How do, or did, Colorado Democrats choose their electors who will appear on the ballot and how did the Baca guy fall through the cracks? I guess I don't really understand the mechanics of our convoluted system.
The way I understand it, we (Americans in general) are voting for a slate of electors who are pledged to vote for one candidate or another.

In other words, we're not electing a President, we're electing a bunch of guys who have said they'll vote for one guy, or a different bunch of guys who have said they'll vote for the other guy.

So when they say that so-and-so won state X, they're saying basically that the majority in that state voted for the slate of electors saying they'll vote for so-and-so.

But some weeks later, the electors themselves actually vote, and the results of that vote are what actually elects the President.

The question that was asked of the Supreme Court is whether a state can decree that each individual elector abide by the results of the vote, or if they can go "rogue" so to speak, and vote for the other guy if they so desire. And the Supreme Court is basically saying that once they're elected, they're participating in a Federal electoral activity where the States themselves have no authority, and there's no Constitutional requirement that the electors hold faith with the popular vote, so the electors can vote how they please without regard to what the State thinks.
  #34  
Old 08-22-2019, 01:34 PM
Red Wiggler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,997
Ok, I'm still not getting something. If this Baca guy had gotten to be an elector because he pledged to vote for Clinton, either somebody didn't do their due diligence or we've okayed false representation among the people ultimately responsible for determining the most powerful position in the country. Does this strike anyone else as being way screwy?
  #35  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:16 PM
Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,050
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
Ok, I'm still not getting something. If this Baca guy had gotten to be an elector because he pledged to vote for Clinton, either somebody didn't do their due diligence or we've okayed false representation among the people ultimately responsible for determining the most powerful position in the country. Does this strike anyone else as being way screwy?
According to interviews with him, he changed his mind after the election in November. He was trying to encourage enough electoral voters, particularly Republicans, not to vote for Trump to deny him the majority. I guess he had to prove his good faith (ha!) to those Republican electoral voters by voting for Kasich.
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #36  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:16 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
Ok, I'm still not getting something. If this Baca guy had gotten to be an elector because he pledged to vote for Clinton, either somebody didn't do their due diligence or we've okayed false representation among the people ultimately responsible for determining the most powerful position in the country. Does this strike anyone else as being way screwy?
My understanding was that it went like this.

1) There was no way that Trump electors would switch to Clinton.
2) Even if enough Trump electors switched to a third party so no one got to a majority, it would go to the house, who would presumably just pick a Trump.
3) If it goes to the House, they have to pick from the top three vote getters.
4) Kasich would be a better pres than Trump, and might be palatable enough that if it went to the house, they would pick Kasich over Trump.
5) Baca votes for Kasich, in the hopes that if Trump fails to hit 270, Kasich is the third guy that can be voted on.

It wasn't about not supporting Hilary, it was about stopping Trump.
  #37  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:26 PM
Red Wiggler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,997
Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
My understanding was that it went like this.

1) There was no way that Trump electors would switch to Clinton.
2) Even if enough Trump electors switched to a third party so no one got to a majority, it would go to the house, who would presumably just pick a Trump.
3) If it goes to the House, they have to pick from the top three vote getters.
4) Kasich would be a better pres than Trump, and might be palatable enough that if it went to the house, they would pick Kasich over Trump.
5) Baca votes for Kasich, in the hopes that if Trump fails to hit 270, Kasich is the third guy that can be voted on.

It wasn't about not supporting Hilary, it was about stopping Trump.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
According to interviews with him, he changed his mind after the election in November. He was trying to encourage enough electoral voters, particularly Republicans, not to vote for Trump to deny him the majority. I guess he had to prove his good faith (ha!) to those Republican electoral voters by voting for Kasich.
Thanks to both for these answers. That was a pretty convoluted plan.
  #38  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:55 PM
Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,050
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
Thanks to both for these answers. That was a pretty convoluted plan.
To quote the Meadow Party slogan for Bill'n'Opus 88: "A Desperate Choice for Desperate Times"
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."

Last edited by Northern Piper; 08-22-2019 at 03:56 PM.
  #39  
Old 08-23-2019, 01:05 AM
Lord Feldon's Avatar
Lord Feldon is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 6,650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
Ok, I'm still not getting something. If this Baca guy had gotten to be an elector because he pledged to vote for Clinton, either somebody didn't do their due diligence or we've okayed false representation among the people ultimately responsible for determining the most powerful position in the country. Does this strike anyone else as being way screwy?
It is screwy, and unfortunately I haven't heard much about states and parties locking this process down after the warning they got in 2016. The Washington Democratic Party did change its rules to give the party officials more control over the selection process (it had four faithless electors) but that's the only change I've heard of.
  #40  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:45 PM
Saint Cad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: N of Denver & S of Sanity
Posts: 13,668
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post

This is the case I wrote about in this thread. Suck it Wayne Williams.
__________________
When I was a boy, a mere lad, A FAERIE APPEARED UNTO ME AND TOLD ME I WOULD BE BOTH POPE AND KING! But … I am a bastard. And a pretender.

-Richard Hariss
  #41  
Old 08-22-2019, 07:46 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 85,765
Yes, if someone bribed electors into voting unfaithfully, it would be under federal jurisdiction. But it would also be under state jurisdiction. Both the Feds and the state could pursue charges, even if the other decides not to. Our system is weird that way.

Back to the OP, I think our system for electing the President is completely whack, but given the system we have, and the Constitutional language that laid it out, I think that this decision is the only valid reading of how it works. If you don't like the implications of this decision, the proper response is a Constitutional amendment.
  #42  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:31 PM
Ají de Gallina's Avatar
Ají de Gallina is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lima, Perú
Posts: 4,548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
And replaces it with the problem of our elections being decided by a whote paste in the middle of the country. There is more diversity of interests between the different neighborhoods of the city of Los Angeles, then there is between the states of Montana, Wyoming and North and South Dakota.
Sure, but it's a feature, not a bug, of the EC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
No, one person, one vote isn't "semantics." "Semantics" is making the case that the majority of voters should find their results disproportionately reduced by an arcane system of squiggles and geography.
All states have "one person, one vote" as far as I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
There’s no plausible scenario in which a “few cities” on each coast can prevail against a consensus within the rest of the country. The numbers just don’t add up.
If the US was like Peru, where you have NO idea which party will win or even exist in a year's time, you'd be right. In the US, something like 80-85% of the votes are already in, no matter the candidate. So, yes, a relatively small number of people can shift elections.

Quote:
I’m not even getting into the issue of how this silly electoral system undermines “one person, one vote.”
[/QUOTE]

The US is a republic, not a democracy. "One man, one vote" still exists, by the way, with the EC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
This is a common right wing trope..
Since i haven't made such a claim, I don't feel the need to say anything about it.

Quote:
Somehow the logic is that the more land that your voters are spread over, the more your vote ought to count. It's a bunch of crap, and its proponents can't even get the facts straight.
Yup, it's a sort of electoral affirmative action, it's a feature, not a bug.

Quote:
Christ. Counties don't vote. Land doesn't vote. It's the people who vote, but this current system gives rural votes much disproportionate power than what they should have.
The expression "cities vote" has a clear meaning that is clearly understood. You just want to obfuscate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
If you want to have a system of weighting rural or state votes versus urban voting, that's one thing. What I'm telling you is having 538 electors completely free to do whatever the fuck they want once they show up to cast their ballots on behalf of millions of voters is a powderkeg and a fuse looking for a struck match.
That's why the selection of such people is of utmost importance and it should be done carefully. However, they can vote as they see fit, that's how it was designed. The US electoral system is astonishingly strong and it has produced the most stable one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
It's only a problem is you don't believe in democracy.
Since the US is a republic and not a democracy, it shouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
Democracy is supposed to be whoever gets the most votes wins. If sixty percent of the people live in cities, then they should be winning elections. We shouldn't have a system that's rigged so the forty percent who live outside of cities win.
See previous answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I'm just looking at the historical record. Republicans are generally the ones who rig elections.
Cite?
  #43  
Old 08-22-2019, 11:10 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
The US is a republic, not a democracy.
I didn't think anybody actually said this in real life. Mostly because it's absolutely not true.

The U.S. doesn't meet the definition of classical democracies. So what? Words change their meaning and accrue new ones all the time. The U.S. begat a new definition of democracy. It is now the dictionary definition of what a democracy is. When you need to point at something called a democracy the U.S. is what you point at.

Can one also call it a republic? Sure. Totally accurately, too, given the modern definition of a republic.

Both, not one or the other.
  #44  
Old 08-23-2019, 07:11 AM
Ravenman is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
Sure, but it's a feature, not a bug, of the EC.
Sure, and counting slaves as 3/5ths of a person was a feature, not a bug at the time the Constitution was written. That doesn’t mean such “features” are eternal.

Quote:
So, yes, a relatively small number of people can shift elections.
That makes no sense. Let’s say 1,500 people work on a large building, but one person puts on the finishing touch. That doesn’t negate the work of the other 1,499 people. Same with elections.

Quote:
The US is a republic, not a democracy. "One man, one vote" still exists, by the way, with the EC.
That first phrase is meaningless and only intended to make some citizens better than others. The second is untrue, as you are arguing that some voters should have 1.25 votes, and others 0.89 votes, based on whether they like city life or prefer country living. That’s absurd and indefensible.

Quote:
Yup, it's a sort of electoral affirmative action....
So you DON’T believe in one person, one vote.

Quote:
The US electoral system is astonishingly strong and it has produced the most stable one.
When the person with fewer votes gets into office twice within a single generation, that can’t be called strong or stable. That’s broken and fucked up.
  #45  
Old 08-23-2019, 01:23 PM
Folacin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North of the River
Posts: 3,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Sure, and counting slaves as 3/5ths of a person was a feature, not a bug at the time the Constitution was written. That doesn’t mean such “features” are eternal.
Just a reminder that the slave states would have been very happy to count their property as whole persons for purposes of representation in the House.
  #46  
Old 08-23-2019, 03:23 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 18,771
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
When the person with fewer votes gets into office twice within a single generation, that can’t be called strong or stable. That’s broken and fucked up.
It happened twice in a single generation 150 years ago. Kinda looks stable.

The solution to this problem is selecting electors more carefully, not a fairly obviously unconstitutional law. Or change the constitution, I suppose.
  #47  
Old 08-23-2019, 01:41 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 42,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post


Since the US is a republic and not a democracy, it shouldn't be a problem.







Cite?
Its a Republican Form of Democracy. Saying the USA is a republic and not a democracy is like saying a German shepherd is a dog, not a canid.


Certainly in recent time, the 2016 election is noted. However, in the past the Dems fixed elections also.

It's just now the Dems have such a lead in numbers, the GOP needs to fix elections, i.e. it's current run of Jim Crow laws. oh sorry, "Voter ID".
__________________
I am not a real Doctor
  #48  
Old 08-26-2019, 08:18 AM
BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps
Posts: 21,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Its a Republican Form of Democracy. Saying the USA is a republic and not a democracy is like saying a German shepherd is a dog, not a canid.
I never understood why right wingers trot out that line as if it means anything. I've never seen a progressive use it, but every so often a right winger will proclaim "The US is a republic, not a democracy" and we're supposed to be convinced of something as though that proves that they have superior knowledge and we should swallow whatever they're trying to sell us.
  #49  
Old 08-26-2019, 09:07 AM
Ravenman is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,119
North Korea is a republic, not a democracy. Guess the folks who trot out this line must really like the Juche Philosophy.
  #50  
Old 08-26-2019, 11:38 AM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 42,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
North Korea is a republic, not a democracy. ....
North Korea is a communist dictatorship.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017