By Jueseppi B.
Gore calls for ending electoral vote system
Former VP says it disenfranchises voters
Written by Michael Cass The Tennessean
Former Vice President Al Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential election by a narrow margin in the electoral college while easily winning the popular vote, has now called for abandoning the system./ Alan Poizner / File / For The Tennessean
Former Vice President Al Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential election by a narrow margin in the electoral collegewhile easily winning the popular vote, has now called for abandoning the system.
“Even after the 2000 election, I still supported the idea of the electoral college,” Gore said Thursday during coverage of the Republican National Convention on Current TV, which he co-founded.
“The logic is, it knits the country together, it prevents regional conflicts and it goes back through our history to some legitimate concerns. But since then I’ve given a lot of thought to it, and I’ve seen how these states are just written off and ignored, and people are effectively disenfranchised in the presidential race, and I really do now think that it’s time to change that.
“It’s always tough to amend the constitution and risky to do so, but there is a very interesting movement under way that takes it state by state, that may really have a chance ofsucceeding. And I hope it does. I think that it’s time. I think our country would be stronger and better if it went according to the popular vote.”
The electoral college system makes the national popular vote irrelevant by assigning electoral votes to the states based on their size. With many states predominantly Democratic or Republican, the presidential candidates tend to focus on more evenly split “battleground” states.
Gore, the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2000, defeated Republican George W. Bush by some 543,000 votes nationally but lost the electoral college by five votes, 271 to 266. Bush’s win in Florida, where he prevailed by 537 votes statewide after a historic recount, put him over the top.
“I was trying to convince my nephews to vote, and it’s a tough sell,” said Cenk Uygur, another panelist on Gore’s Current TV program. “They live in New Jersey. The presidential race is not going to matter. How do you get them to believe it will matter?”
Marc Hetherington, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University, said the system is unlikely to change because smaller states benefit from it, and there are more small states than big states. He said those states would be ignored by the campaigns under a straight popular vote count.
But a major advantage would be increasing voter participation in states that tend to go for one party or the other. A Tennessee Democrat or Republican doesn’t “feel the same urgency to go out to vote as my parents do up inPennsylvania,” Hetherington said.
He said it’s also odd that most of the very biggest states, which aren’t swing states, don’t see the candidates except when they want to raise money.
“It is a strange and arcane system,” he said. “But it’s not going away.”
In 2004, Bush defeated Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts by a more comfortable margin on both counts, picking up 286 electoral votes and 50.7 percent of the popular vote.
Michael Cass will be covering the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte, N.C.
If we ever needed to vote & vote DEMOCRATIC, we sure do need to vote DEMOCRATIC now. For us (Black America) the right to vote is not just a Constitutional matter but a right borne out of struggle, out of sacrifice and in some cases out of death. Think for a moment where we are in time and you will understand why: ”If we never ever needed to vote DEMOCRATIC, we sure do need to vote DEMOCRATIC NOW!!”
Lyin Paul Ryan & Lyin UnFitt Mitt
Just Say NO To Lies In “NO”vember!
Just “BARACK” The Vote