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View Diary: Pennsylvania Republicans propose awarding state's electoral votes by congressional district (203 comments)

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  •  Fear of recounts isn't a good enough reason (7+ / 0-)

    to avoid the truest representation of the will of the American people.  It's a good enough reason to devise more accurate ways of counting the first time.

    •  Go ahead... we are waiting (0+ / 0-)

      And while you are at it, don't forget things like Palm Beach and the butterfly ballot.

      Imagine a nationwide search for things like that with both sides pointing out their examples and demanding do overs, vote adjustments, etc.

      •  Recounts FAR more likely in Current System (0+ / 0-)

        The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush's lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore's nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the miniscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes), no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

        Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

        The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be elected by a popular vote.

        The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary disputes.

        A nationwide recount would not happen. We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and recount. The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.

        Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years under the National Popular Vote approach. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

        The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

        No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

        The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.  Under both the current system and the National Popular Vote approach, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach a "final determination" prior to the meeting of the Electoral College.  In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states are expected to make their "final determination" six days before the Electoral College meets.

        •  Not clear to me that a recount is more likely in (0+ / 0-)

          the current system.

          A recount in the current system requires a state with a close enough popular vote to change in a recount and that the electoral vote be close enough that that state flipping could change the vote.

          Obviously, with 51 states (including DC) you are more likely to have a close vote in one of them, but what are the odds that the electoral vote is also close enough for that state to flip the result?

          With popular vote, all you need is a close enough national popular vote.

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