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View Diary: What nobody is addressing about the Electoral Vote-rigging scheme (180 comments)

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  •  Like it or not, it's a vestige of slavery... (2+ / 0-)
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    AoT, Bisbonian

    ...and the 3/5ths rule.

    The plantation owners with large numbers of slaves wanted them counted as individuals for the purposes of representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.

    Theoretically, if you had enough slaves (and women), you could elect yourself to Congress by being the only registered voter in your election district. You might "represent" ten thousand slaves, women, and children while being the only person able to vote.

    Such "full representation" also meant more seats in the House for the slaveholding states and a greater say for those states in the election of a President.

    The Northern states argued that slaves should not be represented, while the slaveholding states demanded all slaves count fully toward representation. They compromised that each slave be counted at 3/5ths of a person.

    It sort of turns reality on its head, but the same slaveholders who denied freedom and humanity to slaves demanded slaves be fully counted as people for purposes of Congressional apportionment, while those who opposed slavery demanded they not be counted.

    •  I know about the 3/5ths rule (0+ / 0-)

      But I wouldn't say the Electoral College is a vestige of that.  The 3/5ths rule was a way to game the system.

      The country saw itself as a collection of states in the early republic.  The Electoral College reflects that conception.  We have more of a national identity today, but we still organize ourselves politically by states.

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:56:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We agree, but are talking past one another... (1+ / 0-)
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        The country did, in fact, see itself as a collection of sovereign states at the founding....but the question was whether they should be equal in choosing a President...or how much weight should be given to each state....

        The compromise was that we would "sort of" base electoral votes on population (including non-voting white women and children and counting slaves as 3/5th). But we chose white men to do the voting for them as representatives of the state as electors. This was a way to allow wealthy slaveowners to have a far, far greater say than northern farmers or shopkeepers or tradesmen.

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