Controversies and Ideas
IN THIS SECTION HOW THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM DOES NOT REPRESENT THE PEOPLE
Popular Versus Electoral Votes
Other Problems with the Current American Voting System and Elections
Links on this page:
All That Is Interesting dot com: US Election Laws. How To Buy The Presidency: Four Absurd, Corrupt U.S.
Electoral Laws And Processes. Author: Callie Stewart (01/06/2016)
Excerpt: The U.S. electoral system is full of unbelievable, shall we say, “quirks” that disrupt the integrity and the
basic logic of the democratic process. From the Electoral College to absurd voter restrictions, these laws and
processes actually help decide who will run our country. Starting with the electoral college that gave Bush his
victory 15 years ago, here are four of the most unbelievable U.S. election laws…
…Outside of Congress, among the average Americans who had gone out to the polls five weeks before, what
made this result so astounding was that Bush’s opponent, Al Gore, had actually won the popular vote–yet he was
not elected. However, when the Supreme Court ended the Florida recount, that state’s 25 votes in the electoral
college (more on that later) went to Bush, giving him the victory in the electoral college, and thus the presidency.
As crazy as that all sounds, it was actually the third time that a presidential candidate had won the popular vote
and lost the election…
…The first thing you have to understand is that we don’t actually decide who becomes president–the Electoral
College does. When you vote for a candidate, you’re not actually directly voting for that candidate. Instead, you’re
voting for the designated Electoral College elector, who has pledged to vote in favor of that same party you’ve
voted for. So, if your state’s popular vote goes Republican, then the Republican electors from that state (usually
chosen by the party’s presidential nominee, not the Democrat electors) are the ones who get to cast their votes
for President in the Electoral College. Then, on the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, the
Electoral College meets and decides who becomes president…
…The thing that is perhaps most unbelievable and appalling about the whole process is that while electors pledge
to vote for the candidate they represent, they don’t always have to. In fact, throughout U.S. history, there have
been 157 “faithless electors,” ones who have, say, voted Democrat when they’d previously pledged to vote
Republican, or vice versa. And less than half of U.S. states have laws preventing this. So, essentially, when you vote
for a presidential candidate, you’re not so much voting for that candidate as you are placing power in the hands of
an elector you don’t know and who can do what they please with that power…
The Hill: Dem Sen. Boxer introducing bill to abolish Electoral College. By Jordain Carney (11/15/2016)
Excerpt: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will introduce legislation on Tuesday to get rid of the Electoral College, after
Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election despite leading in the popular vote. "In my lifetime, I have seen two
elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," Boxer said in a statement. "In
2012, Donald Trump tweeted, 'The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.' I couldn't agree more. One
person, one vote!"
History 9 Things You May Not Know About the Electoral College
Move On: Petition to Abolish the Electoral College
Nation: ALEC wants to change the way senataors are elected and take away your vote: A proposed resolution
advocates for overturning the 17th Amendment so Republican-controlled state legislatures could pick senators.
By John Nichols. (06/18/2017)
Excerpt: Say “hello” to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the corporate-funded project to
impose a top-down right-wing agenda on the states. ALEC is considering whether to adopt a new piece of “model
legislation” that proposes to do away with an elected Senate. The idea of reversing 104 years of representative
democracy and returning to the bad old days when senators were chosen via backroom deals between wealthy
campaign donors, corporate lobbyists, and crooked legislators, is not new. The John Birch Society peddled the
proposal decades ago. But with the rise of the “Tea Party” movement, the notion moved into the conservative
True Democracy: Scytl effectively kills democracy
Truth Out: The Shocking Truth About Election Rigging in America. By Victoria Collier (09/05/2016)
Excerpt: If there is anything positive to say about the 2016 elections, it's that they have finally forced an end to the
official denial of computerized election rigging. In the past month, the fact that our voting technology is a
hacker's paradise has been validated by no less than all the major TV news networks: NBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters, The
Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, USA Today, The Hill, The Guardian, Mother
Jones, Politico, and a dozen other outlets. Of course, the corporate media and political parties are now professing
"shock" at the very prospect that US elections can be manipulated, and yes, even stolen. Yet it has long been an
open secret that game-changing races have been decided not by voters, but by insiders; from the presidential
race of 1960, appropriated for John Kennedy by Democratic muscle in Chicago, to the two victories secured for
George W. Bush by GOP fixers in Florida and hackers in Ohio. Among other suspect elections in recent years are
key Congressional races hijacked by combinations of voter suppression, gerrymandering, dark money and the
ugly little secret of American elections: rigged voting machines.
Excerpt: We don't need assurances. We need truth and ultimately, we need reform.
Elections are, to put it mildly, a wonky subject. Few Americans care to tackle their complexity, and most are eager
to believe someone responsible is minding the store. While most elections officials are decent, underpaid public
servants with integrity, many in positions of power are not. Over the years they have enabled -- and sometimes
profited from -- deep structural security breaches that are not going to fix themselves.
To understand what's happening and what we can do about it, we need to speak some uncomfortable truths and
also dispel a few persistent myths.
It's Not Voter Fraud, It's Election Rigging
Excerpt: Cyber security experts and "white hat" hackers, who have gained access to the machines over the years,
report that every component of these electronic voting systems are ridiculously vulnerable to fraud:
Machines are not safeguarded and sit vulnerable for weeks leading up to an election
The shoddy locks and keys on the machines are easily opened and replaced
Machines can be breached without breaking official security seals
The secret software can be rigged with malicious, self-deleting code to steal elections
The rigged code will not be detected by standard security tests
Vote-rigging viruses can be spread from one computer through an entire network
The administrative passwords are often easily hacked or missing entirely
One person can access voting systems and others can enter behind them
Last minute "patches" to (supposedly) update software can harbor malicious code
Wireless connections are insecure and aren't always evident
Vulnerable hacking points include voter registration lists, any machines that are linked to the internet, any digital
vote results that are transferred wirelessly to central tabulators, and all final vote tallies transferred to the
websites of secretaries of states
Dozens of technical reports and studies, books, films and videos, articles, investigations and even congressional
whistleblower testimony have exposed the depth of this crisis.
Both Touchscreens and Optical Scanners Can Be Rigged
Here it gets a little wonkier, so hang in there.
There are two kinds of vote tabulating systems in use: Approximately 20 percent are Direct Recording Electronic
(DRE), called Touchscreens, which look something like an ATM. DREs both record and tally votes within their
internal computers. The other ubiquitous machines are Optical Scanners, which scan paper ballots filled out by
the voter, including absentee and vote-by-mail ballots.
The Touchscreens were an inappropriate technology purchased by states with funds from the 2002 Help America
Vote Act (HAVA), a $3.9 billion pork barrel promoted by the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who served six years
in prison for conspiracy to bribe public officials, tax evasion and mail fraud. Touchscreens immediately violated
democratic elections by providing no paper ballot to audit or recount. Many Touchscreens were later retrofitted
with a Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPAT), essentially a glorified toilet paper roll of flimsy receipt paper that has
proven both expensive and useless for verifying elections.
Tucson Weekly: Corporate Media Focus On Distractions Rather Than the Real Issues: Gary Swing, recent Green
Party candidate in both Colorado and Arizona (01/15/2012)
Excerpt: True proportional representation enables most voters to elect representatives of their choice and makes
every vote count. This eliminates the perceived problem of voting for the lesser of two evils under a two party
system, while providing fair representation for a diverse population, and encouraging more substantive public
debate of real issues.
Under the winner-take-all voting system that we have here, elections are largely a
The outcome of most elections is pre-determined by the demographics of each voting district. Most districts are
dominated by a single party. The corporate media only covers establishment candidates who represent their
narrow agenda. They ignore dissidents who advocate genuine reform and exclude them from candidate debates.
The corporate media treats elections like horse races. They focus on distractions instead of real issues.
Washington Post: (2016/11/16) Abolish the electoral college? Dream on, Democrats. By Aaron Blake
Excerpt: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), as she has before, introduced a bill this week to get rid of the electoral
college. In the below post from the wee hours of the day after Election Day, we discuss why it's not happening.
Updates: 2020/01/04 Page Started-Voting, Electoral, moved from rivergold dot net.