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PA Assembly Wants to Steal YOUR Presidential Vote

by: DocJess

Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:37:21 AM EST


Yesterday, Barack Obama was publicly sworn in as president for his second term. If some Pennsylvania state legislators had passed current legislation making its way through the state process last year, that wouldn't have happened, and Mittens could be in the White House. (There are similar bills in other states.)

Really.

Here is the text of Assembly Bill 94:

AN ACT

Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled "An act concerning elections, including general, municipal, special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates, primary and election expenses and election contests; creating and defining membership of county boards of elections; imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth, courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners; imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying, revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to elections," in electoral college, further providing for election of presidential electors.

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

Section 1.  Section 1501 of the act of June 3, 1937(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended to read:

Section 1501.  Election of Presidential Electors.--

(a)  At the general election to be held in the year 1940, and every fourth year thereafter, there shall be elected by the qualified electors of the Commonwealth, persons to be known as electors of President and Vice-President of the United States, and referred to in this act as presidential electors, equal in number to the whole number of senators and representatives to which this State may be entitled in the Congress of the United States.

(b) (1) Two of the presidential electors shall be elected at large to represent the entire Commonwealth and shall cast their ballots for the presidential and vice-presidential  candidates with the greatest number of votes Statewide.

(2)  Each of the remaining presidential electors shall be elected in the presidential elector's congressional district and shall cast a ballot for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the greatest number of votes in the congressional district.

Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

Note the emphasis (mine). While Obama won the state, he won only 7 Congressional Districts. Here's how it would have worked: I voted for Barack Obama, but because my CD did not, my vote would have gone to Mitt Romney. Possibly yours too.

This is a Republican way to steal elections going forward. There is no other way to interpret it. The Constitution allows for states to set up their own election law, but had the intent of allowing presidential and vice-presidential votes to be counted statewide. This is a complete perversion of the process. It's also outrageous and appalling, but when dealing with Republicans, what else is new...

This needs to be stopped. And there are things YOU can do TODAY, as it's still a bill, hasn't passed the Assembly and hasn't yet gone to the State Senate.

  1. Call your state assemblyman and state Senator. If you don't know who they are, you can find out here. When you put in your address, it will show you your legislators. Click on each name for contact information.
  2. AFTER you call, follow-up with an email or a letter. It is important that you call first: that's how they keep track moreso than emails. 
  3. Then, send a copy of this article to everyone you know who lives in Pennsylvania and ask them to call their reps and forward the article to everyone they know. 

When you call, give your name and address, and cite your opposition to Assembly Bill 94. You can say that your vote is sacred, and you don't want it given to a different candidate. You can say that elections should be fair. You can point out that you'll be watching how your rep votes, and will remember in the next election. 

Many people only vote in presidential years, and don't keep a close track on things at other times. Make sure that these political non-combatants know that in 4 years, their vote may be hijacked. If we all work together, we can surely fight this before it takes hold. 

If you don't live in Pennsylvania, please forward this to everyone you know who does live here. Please use the comments to let me know that you've called and forwarded. THANKS!

DocJess :: PA Assembly Wants to Steal YOUR Presidential Vote

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Support the National Popular Vote Bill - 49% of the way (0.00 / 0)
A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR - 80%, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, TN - 83%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: AZ - 67%, CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

NationalPopularVote
Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc


As much as the current system has problems (0.00 / 0)
I think going to popular vote could be a huge problem.

But first, I think it would benefit Democrats, in general, since organizing all the urban cities across the country is a lot easier than organizing the suburbs and rural areas.

But, my concern is if there is a close national vote. As we saw in the current election, it takes 2-3 weeks to count votes in some states (NY, CA), and that's not even getting to certification.  Second, if it were close, you would have to have 51 recounts in all states & DC. Imagine Florida, or Minnesota Senate, times 51. Plus you would have lawsuits galore, since how would you get recounts done in states whose laws only allow recounts if that state is close. But every state would need to be recounted.

Now I see from the NPV website that the closest popular vote in history was 1960, with Kennedy winning by 119,000. The website claims it would be unlikely to be overturned by recount. But unlikely is not the issue. The issue is whether this type of vote forces a recount crisis 50 times what we saw in 2000.  I just don't think the chances are worth it.


[ Parent ]
NPV Decreases Possibility of Recount (0.00 / 0)
The current presidential election system makes a repeat of 2000 more likely, not less likely. All you need is a thin and contested margin in a single state with enough electoral votes to make a difference. It's much less likely that the national vote will be close enough that voting irregularities in a single area will swing enough net votes to make a difference. If we'd had National Popular Vote in 2000, a recount in Florida would not have been an issue.

The idea that recounts will be likely and messy with National Popular Vote is distracting.

The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush's lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore's nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the miniscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes); no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be elected by a popular vote.

The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary disputes.

We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and is prepared to conduct a recount.

The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.
"It's an arsonist itching to burn down the whole neighborhood by torching a single house." Hertzberg

Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years with the National Popular Vote. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation's 57 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.  With both the current system and the National Popular Vote, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach a "final determination" prior to the meeting of the Electoral College.  In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states are expected to make their "final determination" six days before the Electoral College meets.


[ Parent ]
The issue is not whether a recount is warranted (0.00 / 0)
You write:

  No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation's 57 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

The issue is whether the losing candidate would request one, regardless of whether it's warranted. In this day and age, when the GOP in PA wants to change the electoral vote rules unfairly, I fear that any close election, say under 150,000 votes will cause 51 recounts, and throw the country into a constitutional crisis.

   The idea that recounts will be likely and messy with National Popular Vote is distracting.

Distracting to you, but key to me.

  The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote.

Why not? Why do only proponents of the NPV get to decide what should be a consideration for the NPV?

Yes, I agree that a state recount under the current system is more likely than a national recount under NPV. But the current system provides firewalls, keeping the recount to only 1 state. While I agree that the odds of a national recount might be small, to me they're significant enough, and the result catastrophic enough, that the country should not use NPV to elect our Presidents.


[ Parent ]


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