More on Presidential Electors bill and NC's role in the Electoral College

Here are some points I shared with legislators this week as they considered whether to pass SB 353, the Presidential electors bill.

* * * * *

Good morning!

By now you have already received a barrage of emails and calls against this bill.

However, this is not one of them.

As a former lawmaker who introduced similar legislation in the past, and as a director of the NC Center for Voter Education, and, more importantly, as a voter who wants my vote and your vote for President to count, please VOTE YES on SB 353 today. In brief, here is why:

You have heard various points for and against the bill.

Many opponents of SB 353 want you to believe several outright misrepresentations (at best).

Myth/Misrepresentation #1: NC has always awarded its electors using a "winner take all" method.

Answer: FALSE. NC, like many states, did not use a "winner take all" method until well into the 19th century. My thorough, accurate research - including several published articles of mine over the years - detail this.

Myth/Misrepresentation #2: Adopting any presidential elector change like in SB 353 violates the US Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers.

Answer: FALSE. Anyone who says the above to you is either ignorant of the Constitution (and the the process that led to its creation) or purposely misleading you. A clear, direct reading of the relevant provisions of the Constitution says that how a State chooses its presidential electors is LEFT UP TO THE STATES. In fact, presidential electors - starting with the election of George Washington - were NOT awarded on a winner-take-all basis. It was a concept that did not catch on until the 1840s and then gradually began to emerge for decades. ... In fact, by supporting SB 353 you would be what is called a "strict constructionist" of the Constitution, a conservative position that even the John Roberts/Antonin Scalia U.S. Supreme Court could not oppose!

Myth/Misrepresentation #3: SB 353 is less democratic and harms the weight of each voter's ballot for President.

Answer: FALSE. Most people do not realize that the current system of "winner take all" is not about who gets a majority of votes in NC ... it actually is who gets a "plurality" - that is, the most votes, even if many more people actually oppose the vote-leader. In other words, a presidential candidate in NC, under the current system, could get ALL of the the State's electors even if that candidate received, for example, only 33% of the vote! This is not merely a hypothetical. As recently as 1992 in NC, the current system awarded ALL of its NC electors to incumbent President George H.W. Bush (father of the current President) even though he ONLY received 43% of the votes in NC. Clinton received 42% and Perot received the balance. Compare with the elections here in NC in 1948, 1968, and 1980. ... Equally compelling is this question: Is it fair if 49.9999% of the States' votes have no electors to represent their preference for President? ... If anything, adopting SB 353 will ensure that votes are not wasted and that the awarding of our State's electors better reflects the will of our State's voters by basing it mostly upon Congressional districts. SB 353 is a bold underscoring of what our "democratic republic", or representative, form of government is all about.

Myth/Misrepresentation #4: NC has not considered this bill in recent years.

Answer: FALSE. In the late 1980s/early 1990s, a similar bill passed the NC House of Representatives. In 2001, the bill I filed on the subject passed the House Election Laws Committee. That same year, the Senate passed its version (sponsored by former Senator Howard Lee) out of the Senate.

Myth/Misrepresentation #5: SB 353 is a bill only sought by Democrats.

Answer: FALSE. As recently as 2001 forward, countless Republicans have filed and pushed similar bills in States all around the country, as well as Democrats. By my count, at least 20 States have been considering this positive election law reform in recent years.

Myth/Misrepresentation #6: SB 353 will dilute our weaken our State's role in the presidential election contest.

Answer: FALSE: To the contrary, given that we are one of the 10 largest states, presidential candidates from the major parties will flock here more than ever to visit voters and not just come by to rake up campaign cash. If Republican and Democratic presidential candidates know that several Congressional districts - and their presidential electors - are in play in NC, then they will spend more time here. Another plus: NC will have an economic benefit, probably in the many millions of dollars, by the additional spending of campaigns and supporters of candidates here. It is high time that more of our presidential candidates pay attention to NC. If we can't move up our presidential primary, then SB 353 is a welcome alternative. And it is good for business.

* * * * *

Though there are many other misrepresentations being advocated by opponents, please consider the above and VOTE YES for SB 353.

It will be the best way to give voters more say in who NC actually supports for President.

Thank you for your consideration.

Wayne Goodwin
Former member, NC House of Representatives (1997-2004)


Thanks Wayne

You made a lot of great points. The GOP never lets the facts get in the way of a good argument.

This would be a tremendously positive change for North Carolina's impact on the presidential race. Presidential candidates could not possibly pay less attention to us than they do now. We will see active campaigns becuase several of our electoral votes will be in play. We will be a factor in the race to 270 for the first time in decades.

I hope this passes. After all, my vote for president has never counted.

The National Popular Vote Bill is Also in Play

SB 353 is a good bill and should become law, but don't forget SB 954, the National Popular Vote Act. That bill has passed the senate and is sitting in committee in the house. While SB 353 gives NC some voice in presidential elections, the adoption of bills like SB 954 by sufficient states would give us a lot more.

Would it?

Presidential Campaigns will never have the money to compete everywhere. They will instead compete in major population centers and in a very broad way compete nation-wide. S353 makes a few congressional districts competitive and possibly targeted, but would presidential candidates have the money, time, and resources to compete anywhere in the Carolinas except for maybe in Charlotte? There's a possibility that S954 shrinks the playing field.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I may be overreacting, but

won't this possibly jeopardize the Democratic majority in the GA if the RNC decides to spend a lot of money to win districts/electoral votes?

Frankly, I've never liked the "winner takes all" method of apportioning electoral votes, but if North Carolina is one of only a handful of states to break away from this, we could become a national battleground and pay the price by going back in the Red.

7, 2, maybe 8, less likely 11 become battlegrounds

It could definitely hurt Larry Kissell if they dump money in 8.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Okay, so:

would the DNC and other national entities be willing to step up and meet the challenge, or would they consider losing a few districts a fair trade-off for gaining a few Electoral votes in the upcoming Presidential race?

How could that approach possibly impact the N.C. House?

This may seem naive and uninformed, but humor me, Sam.

It would be hard to lose the House

We have a lot of incumbents, we're going to have strong Gov. and Lt.Gov. candidates, and while last year was the year of Jim Black, so far this year has been the year of Republican sex scandals ...

that aside, I think the DNC would spend money in 7 and 2, while expecting 1, 4, 12, and 13 to take care of themselves. The RNC/NRCC will be spending a lot of money in NC-08 anyway, but most of the counties where Larry didn't do well were dominated by Republicans anyway. I think we could lose a few seats out east (for example, State House 10) depending on the national mood ... I don't think it will be eight.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

And meanwhile, in NC-06

Nary a candidate to be seen.

What happens if Coble dies in office?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I'd run against him

just to see the look on my mom's face. :)

She shook her head and said, "Ohh, Steve.", when I told her I had switched parties and became a Democrat.

Be Proud

Every family has a few Kool-Aid drinkers (my own included)

They'll figure it out one day. (I hope)

they bin had

You'd have the netroots

and your mom would get over you being a Democrat if she could say, "My son, the Congressman."


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

that's a money question...

...and the numbers today suggest the ds are better able than the rs to push the campaigns in these districts harder than in thimes past.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

excellent posting

I love the explination of plurality.

Also, under the winner take all, it lends itself to people not voting. If this state always goes one direction or another, then someones vote is not being pushed out of the state. If your of the party that is most of the time in the minority, it becomes pointless to vote.

Also, with Perot (sp) he received no electorial votes, but he received a lot of popular votes. He showed where in this day a third party cannot get established. Is that good for the country? Was that wanted by the fonders?

Voting for a third candidate actually hurts races in some cases because if your not casting the Dem or GOP, you truely are wasting your vote. You will never get enough votes to get past the "my great granddaddy to me voted for XXX" mentality.

Under this bill, a third party has the potential to actually get votes. That truely represents the will of the people.

In a tight race we could decide the outcome of an election.

an explenation of the electorial college. Seems right, makes since, but is it accurate. More infestigation would be required.

The district proposal is based on recognition of geographical divisions within a state. It would also reduce the political dominance of the large industrial states by splitting their electoral votes between the candidates. This proposal has been objected to, however, as a crude substitute for more accurate apportionment.

This would allow a truer reprsentation of the entire state. The Eastern Shores, Piedmont and Western portions of the State would be heard under this proposal. Currently, someones vote in this state is not being represented.

Distribution of electoral votes in proportion to voter support of candidates has occasioned the sharpest controversy. It would eliminate many present inequities of the all-or-none allocation of at-large electoral votes, but it might weaken the two-party system. Candidates of minor parties having no chance to win a state's votes under the all-or-nothing principle might enter the race to win fractions of the apportioned vote.

This is the scarest part of this bill to professiona politicians. This para actually allows third person candidates to win votes. This will encourage everyone to get out and vote.

Why I say this??? If you have a wack job out their with money who wishes to buy an election, under this system, he might actually be able to. Get a few districts active in his cause where the people have apathy toward voting and that electorial vote is prime for hostile take over. This will require that area to actively get out and vote to keep the wack-job candidate from representing them. More people voting. Thats a good thing.

In my opionion, the current two party system is not working. To much partician politics going on. No real debate on issues. Its either my way or the wrong way.

Issues are not black and white. Our current political system does not have the ability to work in the grey areas anymore.

If I was president, I would veto every freakin bill that came to my desk for signature if it was down party lines. If it was truely important, I might review the independants vote in the house and senate and then decide from there, but mainly veto it. That would force these people to actually represent us. To understand what we want, to talk to us, to actually come to this state and here what we have to say. That would be a refreshing idea for some of our representitives.


for this explanation. You have a way of clarifying points, where some others would just like to muddy the waters. Appreciate the clear explanation. And thanks also for all your hard work on the resolutions committee, Wayne.

Just a little bit of thought -

would presidential candidates have the money, time, and resources to compete anywhere in the Carolinas except for maybe in Charlotte?

With projected growth for NC - Raleigh in particular - expected to double from the current ~285,000 people to over 500,000 people in less than 20 years....

Yeah. North Carolina can be expected to be a major player ... IF

Unless someone convinces all those d**** ********s to stay home, population increase alone will make NC a major player - like it or not.

believe it or not

Fayetteville, too. With so many base closings around the nation, we have all kinds of assets being moved into Fort Bragg (I think the number I heard is 12+ generals with their brigades.)

Within the next 5 - 10 years, Fayetteville could have the largest population in the state.

Larry Kissell is MY Congressman

And the surrounding counties

We're already feeling it - and I know you are, too. Moore Co is supposed to grow from a population of about 75,000 now to about 100,000 by 2010.

I just keep hoping that a majority of them are going to be Dems. :) (dream on.)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi


The 100K number is for 2020.

The 2010 projection is 87,434

Thanks for the correction. :)

I find that estimate a little unrealistic, since the 2006 estimate was 82,000 - and anecdotally, it sure seems like more than 5,000 people will have moved here in the ensuing 4 years. But you're right, I got the numbers wrong.

Since they doing a census dry run here, perhaps we'll have a better handle on the number of people here sooner than the completion of the 2010 census.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

your write up is well thought out

Wayne, your approach to this issue is very well thought out and logical. Thank you for the background issue and the description on how this will work.

Something not always seen in election reform is that kind of thinking.

Sometimes what we get is an organization presenting what are obviously "feel good" talking points that perhaps were distributed by a national organization on down to state 501 C3s.

Whenever you change an election law or create new ones, a chain reaction occurs. Being able to think it all through before drafting a law makes all the difference in the world.

It can also mean more bi-partisan support that way.

So thanks again for providing valuable and helpful information. Its truly refreshing.

SB353 was on the House Calendar

today, and is on the calendar again on Monday. Did they just not get to it today?

I also see SB3 - the Energy Efficiency Bill - made the House calendar for Monday. It does not appear that the Fianace Committee changed it any.

Update on SB 353 - Presidential Electors bill

Todd, thank you for asking. There have been "developments" regarding this bill since its very narrow passage on 2nd reading in the NC House. Those developments - which came to a head yesterday afternoon - may very well affect what happens to the bill, including whether it goes further this session and is taken up by either chamber. It is still on for 3rd reading in the House.

I apologize for being cryptic but I need to check back with my legislative and other knowledgeable sources to see whether more specifics on this can be shared or not yet, or even if those developments have changed.

Regardless, this is the closest that North Carolina has come to returning presidential electors to the people -- making the electors' preferences more closely reflect the voters' intent.

It would be a shame

to get this close and not get it passed. Thanks for the update.

"The Political Junkies" website has reason for my cryptic post

In case you had not received it, please note the following item which appears on this morning's issue of The Political Junkie, authored by Stephen Gheen of Durham:

UPDATED: JUL 29, 2007

Howard Dean, Chair of the DNC, pulled the plug on NC Democrats efforts to enact legislation providing for proportional allocation of North Carolina’s Presidential Electors. The immediate question is why?

Sen. Doug Berger of Franklin County introduced Senate Bill 353 providing for changing the allocation of North Carolina’s Electors. Currently, NC is a “winner take all” state; the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes gets all of NC’s fifteen Presidential Electors. Sen. Berger’s bill reallocates Presidential Electors by Congressional Districts; presidential candidates getting one Elector for receiving the most popular votes in each of North Carolina’s thirteen Congressional Districts and two Electors for the candidate receiving the most popular votes statewide.

First, SB 353 is good for the political process. In recent history, presidential candidates have largely avoided campaigning in North Carolina. Republican candidates have largely dominated the State and therefore, neither Party competes for North Carolina. While the State has largely been uncompetitive, that is not the case when viewing the election at the Congressional District level. Democrats have clearly been competitive in the 1st, 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts. In 1996 for example, Pres. Clinton came within some 20,000 votes of winning the popular vote:






Yet, Clinton did not receive a single Presidential Elector, but would have won three Electoral Votes under SB 353.

Second, SB 353 would require both political parties to campaign within the State and that competition would be good for the democratic process. The system is fair to all Parties, as over time all Parties would have been advantaged or disadvantaged by a proportional system, even third Parties. ...

(Then there is a chart, excerpted from this post.)

SB 353 received broad support and little vocal opposition. SB 353 is hard to argue against; as it would provide a more accurate reflection of the will of the people. Jerry Meek, Chairman of the Democratic Party, endorsed Sen. Berger’s bill. Reps. Price, Biller and Etheridge publicly supported the measure. IF TPJ understands correctly, the DNC had expressed no opposition to the change prior to Gov. Dean’s last minute intervention.

Republicans had started a rather crude campaign to pressure Democrats in “swing districts” to vote against SB 353 because intervention of the presidential campaigns into North Carolina Congressional Districts would be a new dynamic. Here is the Republican Party pitch:

"Incumbent members of the General Assembly may well be faced with locally applied national resources. The present winner-take-all arrangement forces national campaigns to apply a large but still limited amount of resources to those areas of the state where 85 percent of the voting population resides and votes. Congressional district apportionment of Presidential Electors, however, would redirect resources and get-out-the-vote efforts to congressional districts where the partisan results of national vote and legislative voting regularly differ.

Under the congressional district Elector apportionment proposal, based on past presidential tally performance, national Republicans can count on garnering 2 at-large Electors and 8 Electors from winning presidential tallies outright in most congressional districts. Similarly, Democrats can count on winning 3 Electors from congressional district tallies, leaving 2 Electors as toss-ups. Of the two toss-ups, the Elector from the 7th Congressional District will probably go to the Republicans, leaving the 13th Congressional District as a true "toss-up."

Incumbent Democrat candidates in the following legislative districts will notice the scramble of national efforts to win every possible Presidential Electoral College vote should the state adopt Congressional District apportionment of North Carolina's delegation for 2008.

House Districts Incumbent
District 4 Russell E. Tucker
District 18 Thomas Wright
District 20 Dewey Hill
District 21 Larry Bell
District 22 William Brisson
District 42 Marvin Lucas
District 43 Mary McAllister
District 45 Rick Glazier
District 46 Doug Yongue
District 47 Ronnie Sutton
District 48 Garland Pierce
District 32 Jim Crawford
District 33 Dan Blue
District 34 Grier Martin
District 35 Jennifer Weiss
District 38 Deborah Ross
District 39 Linda Coleman
District 41 Ty Harrell
District 50 Bill Faison
District 55 Winkie Wilkins
District 57 Pricey Harrison
District 58 Alma Adams
District 59 Maggie Jeffus
District 60 Earl Jones
District 63 Alice Bordsen
District 65 Nelson Cole"

The Republican Party effort assumes that presidential candidates competing within Congressional Districts will be a negative force for Democrats. It is a false assumption. The courter argument is that the lack of competition actually hurt down ballot candidates.

SB 353 had passed Second Reading in the House by a vote of 60 to 49, largely on Party lines. On Saturday, SB 353 was within two hours of final passage when Dr. Dean intervened and asked Democrats to pull the bill.

IF TPJ understands the situation correctly, a ballot referendum is being proposed in California for proportional representation. A fear was expressed is that if North Carolina passed SB 353 that it would give impetus to the California initiative as a Republican countermeasure as Democrats would lose EV’s in that State under a proportional representation system.

SB 353 will now go over to the “short session” of the General Assembly next year, but in all probability the bill is dead. A large number of people have put considerable effort into getting SB353 enacted.

Has Dr. Dean just pulled the plug on a progressive reform in North Carolina?


*The chart of Electoral Votes appearing in this article is an adaptation of a chart prepared by Thad Beyle, Pearsall Professor of Political Science, UNC-Chapel Hill.

If this is true

this is outrageous! Why is Howard Dean interfering in this - he should butt out. What does he have against NC Democrats? This makes it appear he has written off North Carolina as just another backwards redneck GOP-voting state. If he's worried about California, then kill THEIR bill. Democrats control THEIR legislature, too.

Killing this bill takes NC off the map for the Presidential election. Only John Edwards could make the state competitive under the current winner-take-all system.

Thanks for nothing Howard. I hope your NC money dries up.


"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I called the DNC

I got Howard Dean's office. They denied any involvement. But Dean can always ask someone to pull the bill. A lot of people want to be the Congressman from District 14 :-/

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks


Your educating us about SB 353 makes defeat more difficult to bear. But I could take comfort from one of your earlier posts in this thread:

Regardless, this is the closest that North Carolina has come to returning presidential electors to the people -- making the electors' preferences more closely reflect the voters' intent.

But the layers of implications behind the pulled plug ... a different matter, and no easy recovery. That progressive deflation, slight though it may be, hurts.

TPJ confirms what I had heard already ....

.... from 3 very, very reliable sources. I trust these sources implicitly. So as not to harm these sources I remained cryptic at first, but once TPJ ran with it there was no more reason to sit on the information.

If it is not voted on this week, then the bill will still be alive for the short session and, if voted on favorably, could still be in play for the 2008 fall elections. ...

I anticipate that the behind-the-scenes workings - the politics/strategy - of what has gotten us to this point are going to be a large part of our discussions at the remaining Statewide regional town meetings for the NCDP Platform & Resolutions Committee. Tonight I am convening the group in Charlotte, and then will be in Fayetteville, New Bern, Durham, Windsor, Wilmington, Raleigh et al. over the next 10 days. One of the leading resolutions supported by Democrats statewide has been in support of electoral college reforms.

This stinks

I'd like to register a complaint - where's the complaint box for the DNC? Democrats are finally getting smart in NC on election matters - as evidenced recently when they passed same day registration for the early voting period. That campaign took 5 years of organizing from democracy advocates. The only thing that stopped it from passage the first 4 years were conservative Democrats in the legislature and Democratic party campaign consultants who said it would make running campaigns to unpredictable. It's sad to again see some Democrats, especially Dean, thwarting good election related legislation. If they have a good reason to halt it, then we deserve an explanation.

I'm still just shocked.

I've been (somewhat) of a Dean supporter. He's done so many good things - and had such good ideas. I really want to know why Dean is even interfering in NC politics at all. I'd like to know what Jerry Meek has to say; I'd like to hear what Dean has to say.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I just can't believe it

All this time, I thought Mike Easley was the Governor. I didn't know Howard Dean had a veto pen, too.

I am sick and tired of every presidential election coming down to Ohio and Florida. Enough already. It's time to broaden the field.

I was disappointed in 1998 when the DNC interfered in a local, non-partisan mayor's race in Durham, but that's nothing compared to how I feel right now. I guess we can hold out hope for the short session.

Wayne - I want to thank you for the work you have put in on this issue. I guess my disappointment does not hold a candle to yours.

This stinks, especially since the other bill is unconstitutional

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I mentioned Dean's involvement in

blocking the N.C. initiative on a diary at kos. The diary was attacking the Republican effort to do the same thing in California.

District allocation vs. National Popular Vote plan

The way to analyze district allocation of electoral votes is to see what it would do if implemented in every state and the District of Columbia. And that can be seen in what it would have done if used in the 2000 Bush v. Gore election.

Bush carried 30 states and 228 congressional districts. Gore carried 21 states, the DC and 207 congressional districts. That calculates to:

Bush: (30 x 2 = 60) + 228 = 288 electoral votes
Gore: (21 x 2 = 42) + 207 + 1(DC) = 250 electoral votes

Thus, under district allocation, the Republican candidate could lose the national popular vote and still win the presidency by 38 electoral votes.

Bush and Gore together got right at 100M votes (about 50M votes each). Under district allocation, Bush would have received 54% of the electoral votes. Thus, a Democratic candidate would need an extra 4 million popular votes to offset the built-in Republican bias from a district allocation system.

The National Popular Vote plan is by far the best option for reforming the electoral college short of full abolition of the EC and a direct popular election via constitutional amendment. And NPV is completely consistent with the Constitution.

Lee Mortimer

California's potential referendum is apparently driving Dean

For some background on California's potential electoral college change, try this link:;_ylt=AqHjDyGUqe.YXDLoyN45KumyFz4D

You can also find this news topic on several other news sites, particularly if my link doesn't work for you.

As I have shared with several friends, fellow Bloggers, and Democrats ... my GUT - OK, less graphic now, my MIND - tells me we must prevent being the catalyst for California to push its own change (which is what Gov. Dean and others are concerned about) ... but my HEART tells me NC should do what is best for NC, and that is to have our votes reflect the voters' true intent as much as possible.

Ideally the whole country would convert at the same time to a more democratic system that still preserves the principle of federalism. Short of a constitutional amendment (more than likely brought about by a constitutional crisis or a dramatic shift in the opinions of national and state leaders around the nation) that will not happen.

Here is an additional conundrum we face on this:

During the debate on SB 353 lawmakers have stated that this bill is not being driven by partisan positioning. However, for the public find out that the DNC - whether formally or informally - has now asked NC to pull back on the bill, and for NC to act on that recommendation, makes the statement of non-partisan motives sound a little hollow.

Thankfully, the bill would remain eligible during next year's short session if it is not acted on by adjournment this week. Gerry Cohen confirmed this.

link fix

California's fight.

This is why I want this more then anything else. This makes all the candidates work for the job the want.

This gives a truer reprsentation of what the people want and that is what our form of government is suppose to be. Of the People.

Because we might sway California to do this, we lose our vote? Screw that. We want NC to be a key player in the presidental election. This removing this bill shows we can be if for this articles reason.

This does indeed make the peoples vote count. Put it back on the table and let the chips land where they may. Politicans, get out there and earn my vote and EVERY other you vote you want.

Some will say, but Parmea, we might win a battle but lose the war. I say, if our candidate for Pres is strong enough to lead us, this switching will not harm the out come.

When as a state we go to this method, think of the movement that will happen for the grassroot Dems. There will be a stronger since of urgency for people to get involved and get active.

I want the apathy toward voting removed. This will help that, and strengthen us.

To be completely consistent with the Constitution

NPV has to be approved by the U.S. Congress. Otherwise, it's not constitutional.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

NPV is not a good option

NPV is basically elimination of the EC and handing the election over to the handfull of cities with the most people in it. Thats all the politicians would have to campaign to. Think any farmers issues or rural little town concerns would ever be addressed under NPV?

Under NPV, the mostest people with the loudest cry in the most concentrated area will be "listened" to by the canditates and the rest of us well, there aint any nice words for where we should go.

North Carolina

People by County
We have 8.4m people in this state of which 6.2m are 18 and over. How many cities have more then 6.2m voters in them? Where is our largest concentration of voters? Charlotte? Trinagle? For either one, would a presidential anything come to our state to see what we where conserned with from our new pres? Dont think so.

If you want your voice heard, go district level EC voting.

If you wish to have your vote washed over, go NPV unless you just happen to be voting for the popular guy that the big city folks want anyways.


That makes no sense to me. If you want every vote counted, count every vote.

Of course candidates aren't going to come to every town; they don't do that now. But district level voting shuts out my vote anyhow, and always will, until I'm fortunate enough to move out of Republican territory.

The electoral college is archaic. I am normally against amending the Constitution. I think that the option of an Amendment should be saved for extremely important things.

I think that this is extremely important. District level electoral voting still means my presidential vote won't matter. I might as well not vote, then. (Which won't happen, because I care about the local races.)

By eliminating the electoral college, my vote has a chance of counting. That's one of the things the Constitution is supposed to do. I think I've just decided the kind of electoral change I support.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Under the NPV system

all a politician would have to do is concentrate in the following states to get 36% of the popular vote potential.


These 5 states hold 36% of the population. When doing bang for the buck, one would go to markets where the most people can hear my message for the cheapest price.

More money would be spent trying to convince these people in these states to vote a particular way based solely on population density.

We represent 2.9% of the total population of the country or 10th on the list.

Bang for the buck, you would just let the fall out of 50 - 50 win on any state potentially 8th and below. Those states would just be a one for one wash on votes. No real need to go into those states to campaign.

Based on the popular vote, there would be minimal reason to come to NC to campaign. The politicians would accept that while we have 8.8 million people, even if we went all or mostly Dem, the total number of voters is just not enough to worry about our state.

If you get most of the people in the first 7 states, you will beable to absorb the non-50-50 states for Dem-GOP. Who cares if say Rhode Island went 80-20 GOP, (1.06 total people) its still a small number of total votes. Total number of eligable voters is about 80% of total population. So of RI, 844k people eligible to vote. Even if 80% went GOP thats 678k votes that need to be overcome somewhere for Dems (well really 512k votes as 128k voted Dem anyways). RI is a wash as far as their votes are concerned. Why even go there to campaign? Why even be conserned about their votes.

Not sure what the vote tally was in NC for the last few votes, but if we are near 50 50, we are just elimenating each others votes. We neutralize ourselfs.

Under the District level system, our votes will grow toward a total, not neutralize each other. As a district, the party that gets mobilized and out there will beable to voice their desires. If your district has apathy toward the vote then your prime for a well organized movement to get a Dem vote cast for Pres.

If you have a strong GOP presense in your district, you have a challenge. However, you can still get your local Dems to see a chance to be heard and to put 1 in the tally for Democrat pres.

The biggest problem with the electorial college voting system is it is in the constitution. To get that thing removed will be next to impossible. The best we could ask for is a smaller portion of each vote to be heard. That is district level voting. Instead of 8.8 million people having to get a majority, all you need is a majority of 590k (avg)/district to get you vote counted as one for your president. That is much easier to achieve then 8.8 million (state) or 300 million (nation).

site I got my numbers from.

Parmea -

I understand your views, I just don't agree.

I live in a district where I will always be outnumbered by Republicans, unless a miracle happens and a sinkhole develops in Pinehurst and swallows them all (not that I'm wishing for that, mind you.) And even then,there's all of the rest of the district, which, aside from parts of Guilford Co., is decidedly Red. Hell - we can't even raise a candidate to run against the rotting corpse of Howard Coble. We're not going to go Blue for the presidential candidate, even if it turns out to be John Edwards who grew up here, even if we do the best GOTV you can devise. It's stacked against us, dude. It's stacked against us.

But the state - the state might go blue. OR the country might. And that gives me hope of my vote counting. But the district? Not a chance.

As for changing the constitution - it's happened before. Less than 100 years ago, I wouldn't have had a vote to be counted at all. I'm all for changing it if it means making the country better, and I believe that this would.

As for candidates visiting places - they hardly visit here anyhow. C'mon. You think district voting will make them do that? No. It won't.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

More on district allocation vs. NPV

I can appreciate, and agree with, Wayne Goodwin's desire that NC voters' intent be reflected as much as possible in presidential elections. But congressional district allocation of electoral votes accomplishes the least of any of the possible reforms toward that objective.

If we're going to advocate an interim state-level change prior to a countrywide solution, there are better alternatives than SB 353.

In the 2000 election Al Gore carried three of NC's 12 congressional districts: the 1st, 12th and 4th. In 2004, John Kerry may have pulled out a win in the new 13th district. Thus, in a relatively close national election, the Democratic candidate could expect to win 4 of NC's 15 electoral votes under district allocation.

One improvement in SB 353 would be to divide the two "statewide" electoral votes between the two top candidates. Why should the candidate with 56% of the statewide vote get two electors and the candidate with 43% get none. Awarding one statewide elector to the first- and second-place finishers would increase the Democrats' share to 5 electors and better reflect the voters' intent.

Better yet, statewide proportional allocation of electoral votes would increase the Democrat's share to 6 or 7 electoral votes (15 x 43% = 6.5 electoral votes). Statewide allocation of electoral votes within each state and across the country would more closely track the national popular vote than district allocation.

Statewide proportional allocation was the proposal I advocated for some years before the National Popular Vote plan emerged as the best alternative of all for removing the distortive effect of the existing electoral college system.

To oppose NPV is to oppose direct popular election of the president. If you can justify that, then why not replace popular election of the governor with a system of "county electors." Candidates would compete for "electoral votes" of counties and would confine their campaigning to only those "battleground" counties.

Such systems existed in some states southern states for the express purpose of giving more (and I would contend unfair) leverage to rural voters over urban voters. The systems were declared unconstitutional in the era of the Supreme Court's landmark "one person, one vote" rulings on legislative apportionment.

The National Popular Vote plan won't be the last word on presidential election reform. But it is the most realistic and realizable way to achieve rationality in how our national presiding officer is elected.

The beauty of the plan is that NPV can move along, state by state, at whatever pace advocates can muster until a critical mass of states comprising 270 electoral votes is reached. When it is reached, the country would convert to a direct popular election of the president.

And the experience of electing the president directly would likely generate the necessary momentum for a constitutional amendment that won't otherwise be possible short of a massive electoral and constitutional crisis.


Lee Mortimer