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Sunday, January 27, 2013

An Ounce Of District Inaccuracy Saves A Ton Of Electoral College Explanation

Oh, Salon:

Someone’s always talking about dumping the general ticket plurality system – the way we have tallied the votes of the states in presidential elections since 1789 – in favor of the district system.

That's...inaccurate:

Thomas Jefferson stated prior to its switch from the district system in 1800, that "...An election by districts would be best if it could be general, but while ten States choose either by legislatures or by a general ticket it is folly and worse than folly for the other States not to do it."

As Exhibit B shows, a district system was used in 1796 in five of the eight states which allowed popular election oi electors, but by 1808 six of ten such states were using the general ticket, as were twelve of eighteen in 1824. The district system disappeared in 1836 when Maryland abandoned it. It is therefore a historical fact that each state's continued use of the state unit-vote method is caused in part by its continued use by every other state.

Regardless, what's going on now in VA and other GOP-dominated states regarding the Electoral College is just more reason to stay engaged during midterms.

ntodd

January 27, 2013 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink

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