Beats all I'd ever seen : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Ain't never seen nothin like it.Most of the states go for Bush,but most of the population wants Gore.Now it hangs on the electoral votes in one state.Don't this just beat all?

May you live in interesting times!!! What a doozy.

-- sharon wt (, November 08, 2000


The 10 a.m. news on reuters now says FL wont be done recounting till close of buisiness Thurs, with overseas votes taking 10 days. WABOS.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, November 08, 2000.

Whatever the final outcome, THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE HAS GOTTA GO!

What kind of message are we sending to the rest of the democratic countries that a vote in Florida is more important than a vote in Kansas, or Maine, or Montana? That "one person, one vote" has qualifiers attached to it?

It will take a Constitutional amendement to abolish the Electoral College, and I hope the next Congress and President kick it into gear.

But, I agree with you, Sharon. What a doozy! And don't 'cha just love how all these high priced political analysts and media giants are being made to look like complete fools? *LOL*


-- Craig (, November 08, 2000.

I think we should do away with the electoral college and go to popular vote counting because rural folks are losing their voice in the political arena and larger metropolitan areas are controling the presidency, they really have no idea whats going on out here. How much time did Gore or Bush spend in your state concerning himself with your issues compared to states with the larger electoral votes. sure makes campaning easier and you can have a much narrower platform that addresses mostly the metropolitan worries o.k. I've vented thanks for listening ronda

-- ronda (, November 08, 2000.

You're all right. The Electoral College has to go. But almost every election for the past 20 years those in power say it has to go but it never does. I wonder what it would take to get rid of it? Is that something we need to write our Congressmen and Senators about? You've got to admit one thing. This election has the excitment that has been missing the past three elections. I think it's great. Of course I hope my guy wins.

-- Shooter (, November 08, 2000.

The electoral college is working exactly as planned. Gore won the popular vote by apprx. two tenth's of one percent of the total vote. Much of this was due to large margins of victory in populous states such as Cal. and NY. Bush and Gore spent much more time in the smaller states, campaigning to and listening to local citizens. This was because we had electoral votes both needed. Without the electoral college we would have been virtually ignored in favor of those states with large, urban population bases which are much easier to reach all at once. The founding father's instituted this representative form of democracy to keep the power from being concentrated in one or two populous areas. the fallacy is that Florida is deciding this election. They're not. It was decided in every state and florida is just in the spotlight because they may have some trouble counting. The electoral system could be improved by doing away with the all or none system in most states and going to direct apportionment of electoral votes such as Maine and Nebraska have. The system works as planned.

-- ray s (, November 08, 2000.

You know, all night last night, I could not get into my head what the founding fathers had in mind when they set up the electoral college. And it didn't hit me until this morning. Take a look at the map on the news shows. Doesn't it look like Bush had an overwhelming majority of states? He won at least 30, while Gore, I believe, had 18. You would have thought that Bush would have run away with the vote. Now look closer at the map. All the states that Gore won in were in heavily populated areas. Mainly the east and west coast. He won the popular vote because he won the states with the largest cities and largest poulations. But let me ask you, how can a state like Tennessee or Alabama compete with New York or California? They can't and the founding fathers knew that. So to get proper representation, the electoral college was founded. Example....for the sake of argument, let's assume California has 50 electoral votes and 10 million people. Tennessee has 11 votes and 1 million people. California would beat out Tennessee every time. Now, Georgia is a close neighbor of Tennessee and deals with the same problems, so Tennessee and Georgia vote the same way. If Georgia has 11 votes and 1 million people, then their canidate now has 22 electoral votes with 2 million people voting for him. Throw in the Dakotas, Montana, Kansas, Arkansas etc... Now, you're adding up in electoral votes to surpass California, even if your total population in all of these states is still not as high as California. The result...The small population States get representaion. If we as people who live in the vast majority of states, still want our voices heard, than we'd better leave the system alone. The founding fathers always amaze me. (and if you notice, this close of a race doesnt happen very often.)

-- Annie (, November 08, 2000.

Hey Ray, looks like we were posting at the same time. You're right on buddy, with what you said. You know if Gore would have carried his home State, he would have had enough electoral votes without Florida. So like you said, us small states did make a huge difference in this election. As it should be.

-- Annie (, November 08, 2000.

This morning the elections office in DeLand, Florida is wrapped in yellow crimescene tape and under armed police guard. Sure makes me feel good. This is Amerika, right?

-- john and pat james (, November 08, 2000.

Ray's right. The electorial and popular vote are both important. The problem isn't with our system, its with our political views. This election, we just happened to be more 50/50. I am sure that there will be many voters changing their political affiliations due to the events around this campaign.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, November 08, 2000.

Great comments ray and Annie. I think the people that are in favor of getting rid of the electoral vote system don't truly understand how important it is. If we didn't have it, we in small and/or lesser populated states would never see a candidate or an advertisement for one. They would spend all of their money in California, Texas, and New York. Now, that may sound like a good thing not to see all of those ads but you have to remember they also wouldn't be visiting our states and hearing our concerns. They would only be listening to people in big cities and to a lot of us on this list, they sure don't represent our views. I for one don't want the big cities to dictate how our country is run. They have screwed up enough as it is, that's why I don't live in a big city. Let's not support abolishing the electoral vote system. It is truly a blessing for us. It may not be perfect but it is a heck of a lot better than just having the popular vote. I think the fact that Bush took many more states is because his platform and stand on issues more closely parallels the people in less populated areas.

But, in any case, I have a feeling that this may turn into a much bigger nightmare than it is. No matter what the recount comes up with, the other side is going to be unhappy and not willing to give it up. Particularly if it goes against Gore. Remember, his party is currently holding the Presidency. It is worth it to them to fight it out. This could end up in courts. Guess what, they may have to keep Clinton in even longer. Now that's a scary thought. I just have this feeling that this isn't going to end on Thursday this week. We'll just have to wait and see.

-- Colleen (, November 08, 2000.

You go Annie & Ray. I do have another question to ask? Why can they know in amatter of hours after the polls close which canidate got the vote?,yet now,Florida can't get their votes counted untill maybe Thursday? What's so hard about counting?

-- Richard V.Miller (, November 08, 2000.

Annie & Ray...

Your arguments are very good. And I believe that that's what the founding father's had in mind. Don't want those d*mn Bostonians running rough shod over the Virgina plantation owners.

But we live in a mobile society with warp speed communications. My vote should carry the same weight no matter where I live within the U.S. I can become an informed voter with a mouse click on a PC in a Manhattan high-rise or in a farm hosue in West Virginia. This web site is living proof of that. The rural community through the web can link arms electronically just as effectively as Chicago, Boston, or Detroit.

It's the principle of the thing. I just DON'T need an institution, party or bureaucrat changing the weight of my vote. Besides, if the Electoral College is such a great idea, why wasn't it adopted by any of the 50 states for governor races? How about Congressional races? How about ANY other kind of elective contests?

When you come right down to it, the President is the elected representative of ALL the people of the United States. Individual states should not count. Individual people should.

Hmmmm. Sounds like a stump speech. :)


-- Craig (, November 08, 2000.

Richard, the media doesn't know the vote. That was the whole problem with their giving Florida to Gore and then having to retract it. They made that determination when only 2% of the vote was available in Florida. Instead, they used their exit polls which was telling them Gore won and then the first 2% supported that theory so they gave the vote to him. It had nothing to do with the actual counting of votes in Florida. That is why this became a problem. They were saying he took the state when half of the state had not closed their voting because they are in another time zone and it turns out that that part of the state voted differently and ended up with the whole state counted that it was in Bush's favor instead. I think the media should be ashamed of themselves. They weren't reporting news. They were making up news. It could have affected how people voted in the western half of the country. If people out west turned on their sets and saw that Gore had won Florida and a couple of the other key states he needed to win, they could have decided not to vote and went home. Now it is a tight race and who knows how correct it really was. This is part of why I believe that this won't be over this week or next week. There are too many complicating factors. The other factor is how secure are those ballots in Florida. Who guarded them all night and was there more than one person. What if the ones guarding them decided to take a bunch of blank ballots and fill them out in favor of their preferred candidate? It certainly could happen. A little money could change hands to convince any laggers. I think the whole thing is going to grow into an even worse nightmare. This could then affect a lot of things in this country including our economy if the financial markets get nervous. Something to think about.

-- Colleen (, November 08, 2000.

Ok Craig. Good point. And, now you got your speech all ready to go ,where and when will you be running?

-- sharon wt (, November 08, 2000.

Craig, i agree that individuals should count. That is why the individuals in all the states with low population counted. If you change the system to the other way, it would be a population vote, not a popular vote. And as far as communication, it really has no bearing. Unless you were dead, most everyone knew the stances of each candidate. Having the choices of which way the "whole" country should be governed and not just the large cities, well, it worked.

-- Annie (, November 08, 2000.

On the electoral college-

The people who are selected for the electoral college are not bound by law to vote for the party they represent. What if Bush wins Florida and Gore takes Oregon (and any other state that is left). The electoral votes could be close enough that if a few of the electoral college voters "change their mind" (or have it changed) then the election could swing back to Gore.

My understanding is that they don't do their voting until December?

Apparently votes (in the electoral college) have changed before but never enough to change the outcome but then we haven't seen an election where the popular vote and the electoral vote weren't the same since the 1800's.

I, for one, am nervous about the security of the nation if one side has a "serious disagreement" about the outcome. Amy

-- Amy Richards (, November 08, 2000.

Colleen, boy I sure could have used your input last night. When the media called Florida for Gore, Bush was ahead in the percentage points. And at the time there were alot of other states they said that were too close to call! I was so confused. Didn't know that they used some organization for the exit polling till much, much later. When it comes down to it, all the media was doing was making a guess, but acting like it was fact. I totally agree with you. It's going to be a mess and awhile before this gets straightened out!

-- Annie (, November 08, 2000.

Hey Craig, I forgot to add....You shouldn't think of running for office, you're way too nice! although you do give a good speech :)

-- Annie (, November 08, 2000.

I personally am in favor of the electoral college, although if it was me I would give the rural states even more control. From what I understand historically this was an extremely hot topic at the constitutional convention. The framers wanted to prevent consolidations of power, but they also wanted to be fair. If it was me I would probably like for each state to have equal weight. There were many at the constitutional convention that agreed with me. Ideally there would be two votes for every state winner take all. In the event of a tie the speaker of the house would cast the last vote. This would make the candidates work hard in every state. It also would prevent any state from having preminence over the other and allow all the states to have a say in the direction of the country. It would also balance the power between city and rural areas. As far as I am concerned last night the electoral college did it's job of protecting the structural integrity of the legislative process. Now I can hear people say but that isn't democratic, and to that I say nonsense. Each and every person last night voted democratically for where they wanted their states electoral votes to go. Unrestrained democracy always leads to one group of people controlling all the others, and then ultimately to tyranny and war. When these United States were born the individual states bound together under the notion that each would be treated fairly and equally. One state was not intended to grow itself into supremacy. This is the basis of the constitution. This is why the forefathers provided two houses of Congress, one representative of the population, and one apportioned evenly among the states. This way no state has preeminence over the others, and insures every state a place in the republic. The ties between the states that bind us together through the constitution have always been voluntary, and based upon the desire of the states to continue their affiliation. The civil war tried to change it, and in some ways did, in that it insured that every state must now fight their way out of those ties. Even so it would certainly guarantee the distruction of our republic should it be decided thst every state should have to live under the political dictates of a state like California, for instance, where the political, moral and cultural norms vary exceedingly from the rest of the country.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, November 08, 2000.

Great post, Little Bit. I was also thinking that if we had a "population" vote, then the candidate that a few large states wanted would always get elected. The rest of us states would get tired of that real easily and it wouldn't be long before we wanted out of the whole mess.

-- Annie (, November 08, 2000.

I have been pondering this for some time and thankfully Annie expressed everything came up with! In any Constitutional subject I am inclined to think long and hard before forming an opinion as the Founder's wisdom constantly amazes me.

-- Doreen (, November 08, 2000.

The Electorial College is population based. The popular vote is based on those who vote.

The number of electorial votes is determined by the number of Senators and Representatives. Every so often, through reapportionment, the number of electorial votes shift from state to state. Say Florida is growing faster than any other areas. Logic says, since Representatives allocated based on population, Florida will gain electorial votes at the expense of some other state as they are reallocated additional Representatives.

There have been four or five past elections in which the Presidental candidate won the popular vote, but not the Electorial College vote. There have been something like 400 tries at a constitutional amendment to do away with the Electorial College. It has worked for 200 years.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 09, 2000.

Gore won California by something over 1.5 million votes. The total differnce in votes was approx. 250,000 nationally. Still want to do away with the electoral college?

-- ray s. (, November 09, 2000.

Okay, then explain to me - if each party has so many electoral votes, based on past elections; why then must it be an all-or-none vote for one candidate in all but two of the states. And how did those two states manage to be able to divide their votes?

-- Polly (, November 09, 2000.

Agreed that the Electoral College is here to stay. Lil Bit, very good analysis. I was wondering how people who believe in strict construction would feel if their candidate didn't win based on the popular vote...would it make them want to change the rules? So nice points for us all to consider....

One more thing. I got to thinking about how so many of us were unhappy about having to do a census (well, most were unhappy about all the unnecessary questions, really) and this situation points out the need for an accurate census, doesn't it? After all, what other information helps apportion the number of electors per state than the census.

Glad to see so many people voted. I am enjoying this moment in history, no matter what the outcome. We are still waiting (and probably even longer than for the Pres. outcome) for the results of our state Senate race in WA state. The incumbent, Slade Gorton (R) is running neck and neck with Maria Cantwell (D) who is advocating campaign finance reform (she spent $10 MILLION of her own money on this election.) That has been interesting!

Oregon is still counting their ballots, b/c they had a 100 percent mail-in election. They estimate their returns to be in the +80% range. Same numbers for WA state, where a lot of us get absentee ballots mailed to us, and we mail them back. Takes longer, but we get better "turnout."

We get the governement we deserve, and it sounds trite at this point, but don't ever think your vote doesn't count! Especially if you live in Florida! ;)

-- sheepish (, November 09, 2000.

Following your logic, Ken...

If I were a dairy farmer in Minnesota with 10 electoral votes, then it would make perfectly good sense for me to move my herd to California with 54 electoral votes. I would still only cast one ballot, but it would have 5 times the "weight" in CAL. The winner take all is the kicker in all this. That's the one aspect of the Electoral college that makes no sense at all.


-- Craig Miller (, November 09, 2000.

Polly- How electoral votes are apportioned within any given state is up to that state. Remember, the founding fathers wanted strong individual states with a weak federal govt. I agree that direct apportionment by district is even more fair and accurate but it wouldn't change the outcome as it stands if Bush does hold on to Florida.

-- ray s (, November 09, 2000.

Yes craig and polly.I think you have the right idea.

Polly,at the risk of sounding like the backwoods ignorant hick that I apparently am ,and getting stomped on for it by less than considerate folks(explanation-this is sarcastic wit,for those who are humor- impaired -or maybe it's just some more bullbutter,who can say).....

Ok now I finally got to my question- which two states have it able to be split?Maybe I'd want to move there,as long as it's not too hot, not too cold, and has mountains & trees but not 6 feet of snow-you know like where I live now, but with a major political character transplant.

-- sharon wt (, November 09, 2000.

Sharon, have you ever been to Texas?

-- Shooter (, November 09, 2000.

Hello from the great state where they don't know how to count! Some counties are now counting the ballots for a third time b/c of the weird numbers they got on the re-count. Maybe all this will highlight election scandels that are a constant in Florida - although usually the problems are in South Fla. where dead people have a habit of voting with absentee ballots (and you may be interested to know that most dead voters in Fla. vote Republican). I can find good arguments for and against the electoral college - however, let me throw this in. B/c of the electoral college, how many people in states that are strong democratic or republican don't vote b/c they feel their vote won't count anyway. If someone lives in a strong democratic state and they are a republican, they may be less likely to vote. I know this sounds weird b/c the electoral college of each state is based on the popular vote of each state, but for example, Mass. is known as a strong democratic state, and republicans may feel the democratic vote is so powerful they won't overtake the numbers to win the electoral. While many may be more encouraged to go out to make sure their voice is heard, I think it discourages the "underdogs" in certain states. I think it is very possible the national popular vote could be different in every election if people felt their vote "made a difference". - Julia

-- Julia in Tally (Fla) (, November 09, 2000.

The two states which directly apportion electoral votes are Maine and Nebraska.

As for the electoral system supressing voters, I would hope that voter turnout hinges as much on local and state races as it does on the presidency. I remeber hearing analysts before this election predicting low voter turnout because neither candidate spurred any strong support. 60 to 70% turnout in many places proved this wrong.

By the way, gore won New York and California by a combined total of approx 2.7 million votes. He lost the rest of the 48 states by approx. 2.5 million votes. Do we really want NY and Cal. choosing our leaders?

-- ray s (, November 09, 2000.

The electoral college must go . It was a good idea in its time but you must remember that the framers of the constitution had a population of illiterate people. Most had little or no idea about what was being decided by the framers. Today we know every detail with blinding speed and we are capable of lodging our opinion just as fast. I didn't vote for Gore, but all of the electoral votes from my state went to his support,so if I hadn't voted it wouldn't have changed a thing. FYI we are not a Democracy rather a constitutional Republic, I'm sure my forefathers who died and killed for our " Democracy" had swallowed our countries propeganda hook line and sinker. I can't stand the thought of Gore as president , but if he won the popular vote it should be his. I don't like it but I love the concept of Democracy more.

-- Del (, November 09, 2000.

The people whom the framers of the Constitution were writing for were more literate per capita than we are today!!! Democracy would require a lot more particiationby each of us...look to ancient Greece. I contend that the electoral college has more merit than we see at a cursory glance. "Never underestimate the power of large groups of stupid people." Obviously, I am one of the stupid people because I can't recall who it is I am quoting.

If we end up doing this election all over again, I am afraid we are going to have rioting all over. That might be just what we need. In the meantime, I'm going to study up on the electoral college.

-- Doreen (, November 09, 2000.

Just as a side note....heard tonight on the news that they are still counting votes all over the nation. There are still 1 million in California alone. Write in, absentee, etc.. Bush could still win the popular vote. 1 week after the election of 1996, the total number of votes cast, jumped substantually after they had all been counted. The difference then was, it didn't make as much difference as it does now, so we didn't hear about it. Gore is premature in claiming the "popular" vote.

-- Annie (, November 09, 2000.

Quoting Ray here: "By the way, gore won New York and California by a combined total of approx 2.7 million votes. He lost the rest of the 48 states by approx. 2.5 million votes. Do we really want NY and Cal. choosing our leaders?"

Why is the vote of each state (by seeing who wins the popular vote in that state) more important than who wins the popular vote of all the eligible citizens of the country?

-- Joy Froelich (, November 09, 2000.

Doreen is right in that the literacy rate at the time of the founding of this country was higher than it is now, at least in the northern (New England) areas. (The only area I've seen statistics for.) Not only were the people more literate, but they were also better educated in logic, philosophy, and religion. All of which were necessarily instrumental in the founding of the United States of America, and all of which are sadly lacking in the schools today. To answer Joy's question, I guess those of us who live in the country think that we have a little more common sense and a more realistic outlook on things than most urbanites (i.e. NY and CA). And there may be some truth to this. Whether there is or not, the hard truth is that WE could survive just fine without THEM, but THEY wouldn't fare too well without US (farmers) -- a fact that they seem to readily forget. (Too remote from the source of their food.) So they tend to vote in favor of things that are detrimental to the well- being of the country as a whole, without even realizing it, because they don't know any better. Their vision of the country looks like one big untouched park -- pretty, nice to visit for rest and recreation, but unproductive.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, November 09, 2000.

I guess those of us who live in the country think that we have a little more common sense and a more realistic outlook on things than most urbanites (i.e. NY and CA). And there may be some truth to this. Whether there is or not, the hard truth is that WE could survive just fine without THEM, but THEY wouldn't fare too well without US (farmers) -- a fact that they seem to readily forget. (Too remote from the source of their food.) So they tend to vote in favor of things that are detrimental to the well- being of the country as a whole, without even realizing it, because they don't know any better. Their vision of the country looks like one big untouched park -- pretty, nice to visit for rest and recreation, but unproductive.

Kathleen, that sounds awfully condescending and arrogant to me. You assume a LOT about the intelligence of huge chucks of the population. They could turn around and say the same thing about country dwellers and small town folk, with the same self assurance, and that doesn't prove either to be right -- just that they hold that opinion.

As for being able to do without "them" -- oh really? Haven't I seen innumerable threads here about whether or not ANYONE is truly self- sufficient? Isn't there someone in everyone's family dependent on an "outside" job? Can you get by totally without a vehicle, or a hammer, or a tractor, shovel, fabric, thread, shoes, etc. -- all made by those not-so-bright factory-working urban dwellers (and don't tell me all those products are made overseas -- not all of them are!). Aren't there lots of members of this forum selling some of their home produced food to "outsiders"? Tell me again about how you can do without "them"?

-- Joy Froelich (, November 10, 2000.

the electoral greatly favor the two major parties ross perot got 19% of popular vote and zero electoral vote all the people who voted for ross perot where ignored that is unfair they had no voice one person one vote a person in california vote should not count more than a person in indiana also florida should not decide for the rest of the country the electoral system is favored by people who really believe people are too stupid to make decisions or govern themselves jkg

-- jkg (, November 10, 2000.

Joy- The importance to me is that it shows how a narrow slice of the total country can have an undo impact on how the government is made up. Bush's large margin of victory in 48 states is overridden by the will of the people in just 2. The last I saw we were a representative democracy and don't all regions of the country deserve to be represented by our president, not just Cal. and NY?

-- ray s. (, November 10, 2000.

For what it's worth, the people arguing for the electorol are totatally right!! Our founding fathers knew that less populated areas needed equal representation and thats why we have the electorol college.

I know this may cause a stink but I only say what is the truth! I don't know any republicans who voted in any "group efforts", The same can't be said about Democrats, not with union support, minority support, pro-death support, and the National media all backing their cause. The NRA is the only group I can think of off-hand who might have affected my views, and please remember, they are an organization made up of INDIVIDUALS!!

I sure hope our present leader doesn't go against the rule of law in the name of "It's the will of the people".

-- Mark M. (, November 10, 2000.

Ladies & Gentlemen!

The framers of the Constitution sweated long and hard over this thing. Don't let Hillary priss out in an Armani suit and do a mind job on you. The framers knew exactly what was needed to thwart tyrants like her. Please think long and hard before you deposit total power of electing a President with high population areas like Los Angeles, New York, etc. Their priorities and beliefs will not mirror your dear homesteading ones, and here in Podunk with a population of 200 New York doesn't give a diddle de do about what we want in Podunk. Can you say President Hillary Rodham Clinton?


-- Wanda King (, November 13, 2000.

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