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View Diary: What is National Popular Vote, and why should we care (187 comments)

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  •  A little twist on something others have been (2+ / 0-)
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    Alice Olson, GETinMN

    pointing out - how are you going to certify a popular national vote total?

    I can see where the states in this agreement could set something up for reporting the popular vote totals but what about the states that disagree and don't sign up?

    How would vote totals for those states be certified?   What if it was an extremely close election and you wanted/needed a recount?  How would that be handled?  Wouldn't you need a national recount?  Wouldn't that be EXTREMELY expensive?

    •  Stop worrying. (1+ / 0-)
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      1. Each state would certify its own vote total. Same as now. No change there.

      2. Recount much less likely to be needed with larger vote pool. Please see my other comments on this diary.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 08:32:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  States Report Certificate of Ascertainment (0+ / 0-)

      Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the "canvas") in what is called a "Certificate of Ascertainment." You can see the Certificates of Ascertainment for all 50 states and the District of Columbia containing the official count of the popular vote at the NARA web site at

      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.

      We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and is prepared to conduct a 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 with the National Popular Vote. 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.  With 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.

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