Electoral CollegeDecember 16th, 2008 by Steven Gardner
On Monday my employer graciously allowed me to go witness and cover the electoral college process at the state capitol. In it I witnessed everything related to it. They didn’t fill the room, which represents most everyone’s concern or lack of concern about the event. The mood depends largely on what happened on Nov. 4 and whether the people in the room are voting for the winner or the loser. Finally, you have a mix of supporters and non-supporters, even among the electors, reflecting the mix of emotions there are broadly about the process.
You can see video done by The Olympian. In that piece is a legislator who wants Washington’s electors to vote in proportion with the national popular vote. The story from the Olympian also shows that at least one elector wants the electoral college eliminated.
Americans generally have mixed feelings about the electoral college. If you see the comments following my story, you see Tom Rosendale supporting a plan that would allocate electors based on how voters in their districts went. That idea is discussed here on a site that supports a national popular vote. The site is against the congressional plan, but includes information I was looking for, namely what would have happened in 2000 and 2004. Bush still would have won, by bigger margins.
It seems that any change is designed to ensure that the electoral college better reflects the popular vote. The change Washington legislators are proposing would have states allocating electors based on the national numbers. If we went to that, though, why wouldn’t we just go to the popular vote anyway, rather than adopting something that only cosmetically leaves the electoral college in place.