As for the disenfranchisement issue... I don't have any problem with Electors being split up. Rather than by congressional district (subject to gerrymandering),...
Electors are not voted by district, and are thus not subject to gerrymandering. The candidate who receives the most total votes in a state wins the entire states electoral delegation. That's our "winner takes all" system, which is in effect in all but two states (Maine and Nebraska). Unless you're speaking of state lines themselves being subject to gerrymandering? Given that we don't change state lines every 10 years that's really not an issue IMO.
... just off the top of my head I imagine a system where the 2 EC votes from Senate allocated spots go to popular winner of the State. Remaining EC votes from House would be divided between candidates by popular vote, rounded to whole numbers favoring the winner of the State's popular vote. States with only 1 Rep would be all or nothing. (Sorry minority vote Wyoming voters, maybe if the vote is withing "X" percentage points 1 Rep EC goes to the minority vote winner? 2 Senate EC votes would still go to popular vote winner). States with 2 or more reps may need something to allow 1 Rep to go to minority voter choice under circumstances.
Which is how Maine and Nebraska do it. They use a proportional allocation system. Every state gets to decide how to determine its own EC delegation. Because, as I've been trying to point out all along, the people don't actually elect a President, the states do (well, the electors from that state do). The people may vote to determine how a state's delegation is made up, but they don't directly vote for the President. They never have.
Have I done the math to see if that would change the outcome of this election? No. Have I done any math to see how much of a popular vote swing from densely populated states this could offset, if at all? No. But off the top of my head it would still provide some incentive to the smaller population areas, while allowing more minority votes in more States to actually matter.
Yeah. I haven't done the math either. I suspect it would still usually result in a benefit for the candidate who won pluralities in more states (cause of those two bonus electors) over the candidate who got the highest total popular vote. Don't underestimate that in "normal" election cycles, this may very well make it so that the Democrats never win the Presidency, like ever again. California alone is an issue. You're handing over a pretty large minority vote to the GOP that they normally lose out on entirely in the existing electoral college process.
And again, this is more about changing how the electoral college delegations are determined. The arguments for using popular vote instead of the electoral college should be completely different. And frankly, I think a lot of people are missing another major point. If you change the way we determine who won the election, it will change the way the candidates campaign. You can't just look at the fact that if we used a different methodology to make that determination the result would have been different to argue that had we actually used that methodology, the result would actually have been different
You have a valid point in that it would give more people incentive to get out and vote, especially among states where there's a clear majority for one party. But that's kind of the point. It would change the ratio of voters and almost certainly reduce significantly the margins currently present in those states with clear majorities. We can't possibly predict how that would change things in terms of which party may or may not benefit, despite what many protesters today may think.
But really I can't see anything changing, at least not in my lifetime (or, the life time of the US maybe). I don't see congress or the States getting any agreement made, not to the level any change of this type would require. Don't see things changing at the State level. Cause why would Democrats want to split up big blue States to the red? Why would Republicans want to split up big red States to the blue, or possibly give up any portion of the small States?
Yup. Honestly though, that's not really the whole issue. I've mentioned several times that it's really the states that are electing the President, and it's really the states that have the most direct interest in that selection. The question is not just about what effect such changes would cause (whether going to more proportional EC allocation, or full on direct popular vote) in terms of the outcomes of the elections themselves (which is what it seems like most people care about most right now), but also how this changes the basic concept of representation of a president.
All other elected offices at the federal government represent specific geographical regions within specific states. Whether it's a state as a whole in the case of Senators, or whether it's a district within a sate in the case of the House. The President is the one elected office that is supposed to represent *all* of us. Not just people, but also the regions we live in. And especially the individually sovereign states. I know that some will reject this as some kind of quaint states rights argument, but there really are valid reasons for maintaining the concept that the states put delegations into the federal government and not just the population as a whole.
States are distinct legal entities. They have their own laws and boundaries. Thus, there are specific policy positions that directly affect states differently based on the mere fact that state A may have different rules than sate B. The federal government has as one of it's primary powers the power to regulate interaction between the states themselves, and between the states and other nations. This can have a *massive* effect on any given state's economy. An easy example is a trade tariff on any given good that may be predominantly produced or consumed by a given state. Changes to federal law, or even just classifications in federal administrations can either conflict with or align with existing states laws.
Treating the entire US population as a single homogenous set is simply wrong. People are affected differently by federal decisions based entirely on which state they may live in. It is for the exact reason that we place weight on each state as a state, both in our Senate and in the Electoral College. Because our systems recognize that states themselves have a strong vested interest in the rules and regulations they are bound by. Remember that the federal government was not originally intended to directly interact with individual citizens at all. It's a relatively recent thing to have federal funding for education, healthcare, social security, welfare, etc, etc, etc. And yes, to some degree a good portion of this was specifically because the founders didn't like the idea of a federal government that might place onerous regulations or taxes on the citizens of one set of states, in order to benefit the citizens of another. And they realized that if you had a system where the federal government directly engaged in that sort of selective benefit handing system and you coupled it with direct voting for offices like president, you could run the risk of popular self interest in some regions of the country pushing for policies that benefit them, while harming those in the less populated regions.
Unfortunately, over time we have expanded the power and role of the federal government as it pertains directly to citizens. I happen to think that's a very bad thing, btw. But it's happened. IMO, moving even further to direct popular voting for president would only make such things worse. I don't believe that the federal government should be involved at all in what is essentially charity. It should stick to regulating between the states and between the US and other countries and that's it. I would love for us to simply eliminate social security, and medicare, and welfare, and the department of education, and pretty much all social spending programs. Except perhaps as standard setting bodies, the federal government simply should not be involved in such things. Directly funding them is just plain a bad idea. It fosters the idea that it's desirable to take from one group to give to another. Which is never a good idea for a government to get involved in. And yes, it further fosters the idea that "the people" should be voting directly on such things (which is just a small step from "mob rule" IMO).
All of those things can be done at the state level, if the citizens of a given state desire. It's bad enough already that if a majority of representatives in congress decides to impose some new rule on the citizens of the states that don't agree with them, they get to do it anyway. It would be infinitely worse if that majority didn't even require a majority of state representatives in said legislative and executive bodies, but a mere majority of the population as a whole. Again, the purpose of using a Republic rather than a Democracy is specifically to divide voters into regions in which each region has an equal say in things. It's designed to favor broad geographical appeal over narrow but deep popular appeal. And IMO, that's a very very good thing. It's likely why there are no nations I'm aware of that actually practice direct Democracy as their national political system. Which is what makes it all the more baffling when people make a huge deal about how the popular vote didn't match the EC vote. Um... That's not something that is broken. That's a system that's working exactly as it's intended to work. Edited, Nov 29th 2016 6:42pm by gbaji