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Streetwise--California's electoral votes

Original post made on Oct 5, 2007

Should California's electoral votes be split up as the GOP has made an effort to do?

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 5, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Joey, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 5, 2007 at 3:22 pm

This question is bias. It should have read

- Should California's electoral votes be split up? OR
- Should California's electoral college votes be split up as proposed?
Or something similar. This is not strictly a GOP issue. This is great for California because the candidates will actually spend time and money campaigning in California, due to the large amount of electoral college votes California has - instead of mostly campaigning in swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.

By the way, Dennis Grotrian (the Professor), was incorrect in his statement. If the writers of the Constitution truly wanted all votes to be given to the majority, instead of split, they could have done two things: 1) not had the electoral college and elected the President and Vice President by simple majority or 2) expressly writen what they wanted in the Constitution. Instead if you actually read the Consitution, in Article Two, Section One, Clause Two, it says, "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct..."

In layman's terms, this means each separate state is invested with the power of directing how their own state chooses Electors. This is the people of the state legislating from the poll box. How can what anything the state decides to do with its electors therefore be unconstitutional as Mr. Grotrian said it would be?


Posted by Judy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2007 at 1:11 pm

The question was misleading, since it has nothing to do with any party. Most of those questioned, admitted they knew nothing about the subject and the way it was asked assumed it was a partisan question. Currently, regardless of voters intentions, California is what is called a "winner-take-all state". That is NOT the case in all states, since each state determines it's own process. So, regardless of how votes were split among various parties and candidates, in the new process, the candidate with the most votes in a congressional district would be counted. Rather than ALL California votes (equal to about 10 states) going to 1 candidate, the
new process, which is used by some other states, would more closely represent 'the people'. For Presidential elections, the tally would
be by congressional district, giving a truer representation of the people of CA.
Judy, a longtime Pleasanton resident.




Posted by Judy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2007 at 1:12 pm

The question was misleading, since it has nothing to do with any party. Most of those questioned, admitted they knew nothing about the subject and the way it was asked assumed it was a partisan question. Currently, regardless of voters intentions, California is what is called a "winner-take-all state". That is NOT the case in all states, since each state determines it's own process. So, regardless of how votes were split among various parties and candidates, in the new process, the candidate with the most votes in a congressional district would be counted. Rather than ALL California votes (equal to about 10 states) going to 1 candidate, the
new process, which is used by some other states, would more closely represent 'the people'. For Presidential elections, the tally would
be by congressional district, giving a truer representation of the people of CA.
Judy, a longtime Pleasanton resident.




Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 7, 2007 at 8:14 am

I disagree. A truer representation of the people would not be to split the votes up by congressional district, but by splitting the votes up by a percentage of the popular vote. Congressional districts are gerrymandered together by Congress in a highly partisan-influenced process. I would hate to have Congress have a hand in how votes for President are decided. The electoral college was meant to protect states from such tomfoolery.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 9, 2007 at 5:29 pm

By dividing up the electoral votes by Congressional district, California would go 33-22 for the Democrats based on Democratic and Republican districts in the state. It would diminish the importance of California's electoral votes. We already have disproportionate representation in the electoral college (approzimately one electoral vote for every 700,000 people, while smaller states have as few as 1 for every 85,000 people. The importance of the Electoral college is to allow states to vote as a block. If the electoral votes were to be decided by Congressional vote and no one was to receive a majority in the Electoral College, then the election would be thrown into the House of Representatives where California would have only one vote for the President and Alaska, Rhode Island, and Wyoming would have one vote each, thus further dimishing the clout of our state at the national level. It is better to have candidates come to California to gather all 55 electoral votes rather than a few. Dividing up the electoral votes proportionally or by congressional district would lead to further partisan bickering at the state level and encourage even greater gerrymandering when the lines are redrawn in 2011.

If California were to once again become evenly divided or a Republican leaning state, the Republicans would want the winner take all system. The proposition proposed was sponsored by an out of state organization and most of the money came from out of state.

Thanks to my gov teacher who gave me greater efficacy to understand the Electoral College and the founders intentions.


Posted by Joey, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 10, 2007 at 3:30 am

Too bad the teacher at AVHS doesn't allow Tom to think for himself. Instead Tom is just repeating what the teacher told him is the right answer - and now Tom cites his reasoning because his teacher said so.

I don't care if you agree with me or not, but please don't side with an issue just because the teacher your adore says something to be good or not.

As for what your teacher said, I do agree with it somewhat (for smaller states). However, I find it difficult to beleive the founders could have thought have everything - specifically a state such as California having 55 votes. Then again, maybe they did have this in mind when they expressly wrote in the Constitution that it is up to individual states to decide how electoral votes are decided. Right now California doesn't get paid attention to because we all know where the votes will be going (Democrat). However, if we split our votes, we will have both parties here more often vying for votes (and hopefully listening to us).

If this does pass, I agree it shouldn't be done by Congressional district for the reasons stated above. Hopefully something better can be decided on though.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 10, 2007 at 8:36 am

Tom,

You are right that California's votes have disproportionate representation to other states. The founders were very concerned about avoiding "tyranny of the majority" (i.e. mob rule), which is why states with smaller populations have more voting power for presidential elections than larger states like California. "Tyranny of the majority" is also the driving reason behind why the president is selected by an indirect election instead of by nationwide popular vote. States rights versus population rights.

If we split our electoral votes, we would most certainly get paid more attention to by candidates as we would be making ourselves artifically more like a smaller population state. Should it be done at all? I haven't decided myself yet.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 10, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Please don't assume I can't think for myself. We were presented with a number of ideas and alternatives, I enjoyed the discussion so I did my own reasearch, too, and I like the topic, especially since it is in the news. I thought these boards were for discussions, not to rip on people's ideas and thoughts, and make bad assumtpions. :(


Posted by Joey, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 12, 2007 at 3:43 am

Tom,

When did I "rip" on your ideas and thoughts? I did the opposite in fact as far as smaller states are concerned (I agreed with your idea). Even if I disagreed with 100 % of what you said, just because I disagree with something you say, doesn't mean I am "rip[ing]" your ideas.

I agree (again with you), these boards are for discussions. Part of discussing topics does not include agreeing on any or all points.

With that said, the reason I was under the impression you didn't think for yourself was your awkward use of the word efficacy. Based on your use of the word, it sounded like your teacher wanted you to think something so you did.

But thanks for clearing that up, and good work on thinking for yourself. However, in future discussions (debates, arguments, etc) try not to credit your teacher as research device - you aren't giving yourself enough credit.


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