Disenfranchised by the electoral college

It is the fault of the electoral college that my vote for President doesn't mean a god-damned thing whatsoever. The only difference between me and some alleged ex-con in Florida is that they let me go through the formality of going to the poll and pulling a lever. No Diebold machine back door is necessary to erradicate my vote. No need to "lose" the box containing my vote en route to make sure I'm not counted.

I live in Texas. Our votes are going to Bush. All of them. End of story.

Where do you live? Are you lucky enough to live in a state where the vote is split so yours has a chance of mattering? Lucky enough to live in a country with a less screwed up voting system, that doesn't by design disenfranchise massive minorities of people?

Go Colorado. I hope this passes. I hope in state after state the vote is close, and the people on both sides think not of what they have to gain with a winner-take-all system, but what they have to lose -- namely their own voice -- if the vote should turn against them by a fraction of a percent.

The sad part is that the states with a solid majority on one side are the ones least likely to change, since the majority has greater risk moving to a proportional system from the low-risk winner-take-all system.

I'll be voting for whatever 3rd party was able to make it onto my ballot (rough order of preference: Nader, Badnarik, Cobb) as a way of saying " the two party system", not that it will matter, bringing me to the statement I won't have the ability to express in this coming election:

Thank god this amendment is going to tank without your help

1. 36 Basically s us over for any and all future elections. The candidates know Colorado will forever be a 1 vote state, so our priorities mean -all to any presidential candidate. You can argue they mean little now, but they'll mean even less if this POS amendment passes.

2. With the consistent immigration of Californians, New Yorkers, and Mexicans (who become 2nd generation Coloradans) this state does have the potential to become a democratic stronghold. Anyone dumb enough to vote for this just to get Kerry 4 electoral votes is basically ing every other democratic candidate down the line out of at least 4 electoral votes. Then again, any republican that votes for this is doing the same.

3. The notion of 1 person 1 vote is nice. Maybe some day we'll be able to claim success and act elated when the candidates begin stumping exclusively in California, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Florida.

4. A true federal election should be an all or nothing deal. Wait 'till the electorate gets split up like this in enough states and the president gets chosen by the US House of Representatives. You going to be happy when some asshole who didn't win a majority of electoral votes gets hand picked by the asshats in the lower-house?

A true "democratic" election (if you want to call it that) should be mandated by by the US Constitution. This split it and forget it bullshit is just going to screw Coloradans. Perhaps that's why every single newspaper and candidate in the state have come out against it...hmm?

Amendment 36 is the best thing ever

it removes the nasty effect of the electoral college

our founding fathers got so much right, god bless them, but they screwed the pooch on this aristocratic hangover distrust of the average joe with the stupid ing electoral college

the ideal would be to remove the electoral college completely, and rely upon direct voting: gore would be our president in 2000 if so, for example

but this Jasminlive.mobi amendment 36 is a nice halfway measure, an improvement upon the bullshit status quo, a step in the right direction

and lo and behold, what we have is partisan s defending the status quo: in iowa screaming "hell no! you liberal coast s will not pollute our disproportionate influence!"

and now apparently, we have partisan s in california screaming "hell no! you conservative s will not pollute our disproportionate influence!"

the will of the people is the will of the people, end of story, and no schemeing assholes like you need apply to warp it

that's why bush is our president today, rather than gore: because of partisan assholes on the right... of which the left has just as many

the truth is the common man decides, and we don't ing need any jasminelive artificial filters on the will of the common man by you aristocratic s saying "i know what is better for the usa than the average joe does, so i need to filter their will and sometimes decide against it"

god bless this amendment in colorado, please let it pass, and please let it spread like wildfire acros the usa

It warps the democratic process, it gives us illegitimate presidents, and undermines people's faith in their government

if the last 4 years doesn't convince you of the need to trash the electoral college, what does?

What I would say

Is that if, as your governor claims, a large and "swingy" quantity of electoral votes are essential in order to get federal money funneled to your state, then this isn't this one of the best arguments that could possibly be made that the electoral vote system is having negative effects and should be replaced with popular voting as soon as possible on a wide scale?

Personally I have trouble thinking of the presidential election in terms of "what will X president do for my state"? I might conceivably move to a different state. I want to know what X president will do for my country. From this viewpoint, state "influence" doesn't really seem that important. Yeah, the "state" loses political clout under the Colorado distribution. I don't care whether the state has political clout. What matters to me are the people who live there.

And from the perspective of the people who live there, well, what the winner-takes-all electoral vote distribution does is increase the political clout of a slight majority of the people who live there in exchange for completely removing the political clout of a slight minority of people who live there. From a chaturbate perspective, I do not know whether this is a good thing or not. But as a voter, I would definitely prefer the idea of something like the Colorado distribution. Since I cannot know whether in any one election I will find myself in the slight majority that wins the electoral votes or the slight minority that loses, I would simply prefer not to gamble. I would rather know my vote is counted than take the chance that my vote will effectively count twice.

What Colorado's Amendment 36 means for America

But I haven't told you the best part yet. If it were passed, Amendment 36 would go into effect IMMEDIATELY. Like ON THIS ELECTION. See, we get nine electoral votes. If George Bush got 51% of the vote (and despite how close the polls are, this is the most likely scenario for our traditionally red state) and Amendment 36 passes, he would only get five electoral votes instead of the whole kielbasa.

The major funders of this bill are, obviously, Democrats out looking for an extra four votes for Kerry. If Amendment 36 passes, look for the lawsuits to roll in, the constitutionality of the amendment to be challenged, and Colorado to go from being right wing ski-bum bumpkins to 2000 Florida-style assholes.

And personally, I welcome that. That's why I'm voting for it November 2nd.

The reasons not to are typical. No matter what the amendment's effect on this election, our state will most certainly NOT be in play in any future elections, as no candidate is going to spend that much money or time for a paltry five votes (how many times as either candidate spent in Wyoming or Alaska people.)

Also, as our Republican Governor Bill Owens (who is trying to suck up to the party while he goes through a divorce) cautions, we will not have as much clout when it comes to allocation of federal funds. Federal funds are important to our state, since we are heavily invested in military installations like the Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, Cheyenne Mountain, Rocky Flats Arsenal etc. Not to mention that our highways are under almost constant construction, and we've been thumbing our nose at that nationally mandated .08 BAC limit for DUIs until just recently.

But most people don't say that Amendment 36 is an intrinsically bad idea, just that if we are going to change to a proportional voting system, that it should be done on a national level. The pros and cons of that system (giving too much power to highly populated areas vs. giving too much power to hicks in the boondocks) can be debated, but in our age of 24 hour cable news, the internet, and propaganda flying at us like shit in a tornado, the advantages of proportional voting look good to everyone except third parties.

And they never had a chance anyway.

Just to show that I'm not a total Kerry partisan, let's examine what would happen if Amendment 36 were to pass and the nation Florida style. You can be sure that the conservatives would begin to back similar bills in reliable Democratic strongholds like California, New York, Illinois, etc. Our little Amendment 36 could possibly be the thing that sets off a trend in future election cycles

Too bad that it is unlikely to pass. Just over half of Coloradoans disapprove of it, while only about thirty percent support it, meaning the swing is likely to go to the "nays". Then again, it might not.

Other legal issues

As a fellow Coloradoan, I sympathize with your desire to move Colorado into the Federal backwaters come election season--It seems like Bush has visited Colorado more than Texas the last few months.

You neglected to mention, however, a few major legal points about the amendment that will affect this election.

1) The amendment takes affect only once it is certified, regardless of being backdated to Nov. 3. With irregularities in the voter rolls, lawsuits about ID requirements, etc., recounts and such could prevent the amendment from being certified before the electors are sent to Washington if the state secretary certifies the presidential vote before the amendment vote. The lawsuit pending over the ruling that provisional ballots only count towards the presidential race could easily bring about this circumstance. I think the Governor has to put his stamp on it at some point as well, and it would be unfortunate if he happened to be at a conference in Zimbabwe at an inconvenient time.

2) The constitution says that the state legislature will chose the electors. This is a citizen initiative, not a legislative initiative. Plenty of fodder there to send this to the US Supreme court for fun and mayhem.

In other words, if amendment 36 passes and affects the national election, Colorado will make the bickering in Florida in 2000 look like a tiff over tea and biscuits. Personally, I would derive considerable amusement from this, but others might be less sanguine about it.