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    • On Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous 9-0 decision that states can punish faithless electors in the Electoral College. I.e. States can make it mandatory and binding for Electoral College voters to vote the popular vote of their state. 

      There have been occasional moments where there have been faithless electors and I know there were many (myself included) calling for the Electoral College to not hand over the White House to Donald Trump, but at the end of the day, the Electoral College rarely breaks ranks with the will of their state. So, in many ways, this decision is somewhat an academic one as states rarely need to worry about this issue. 

      However, this ruling reminds us of how silly the Electoral College is to begin with. Especially now in this modern era. It honestly makes more sense for the nationwide popular vote to decide who gets elected president. Thoughts? 

    • However, this ruling reminds us of how silly the Electoral College is to begin with. Especially now in this modern era. It honestly makes more sense for the nationwide popular vote to decide who gets elected president. Thoughts?

      I agree with you.

      I'm not convinced that the Electoral College ever made sense, and as we saw from 2016 with Clinton (and 2000 with Bush vs. Gore) it can go against the will of the majority of voters.

    • Is it just me or does anyone else feel the result of the electoral college is that my vote doesn’t matter? The only votes that matter are in swing states.

      Visiting Ohio in 2016 was a completely different experience than California. Political ads were everywhere there, ones we never saw. It was as if there were two Americas.

    • Is it just me or does anyone else feel the result of the electoral college is that my vote doesn’t matter? The only votes that matter are in swing states.

      It's not just you. And all of our votes should matter.

    • That’s how I feel as well. The winner is the president of the Swing States of America. However, it is interesting to see how some states change colors over time. Vermont was the longest red state until they flipped blue in 1992 and haven’t looked back. So, states do sometimes change after a while and also, more of those swing states than I realized have been close. But overall, I agree with your sentiment.

    • Most things aren't black and white in life but the EC is. It just doesn't make any sense and was designed to do exactly that.

      It makes a liberal vote in TX totally meaningless. The same for a conservative vote in CA. Candidates basically campaign in just a small handful of states and basically ignore the rest of the country (as well as their problems and issues). Listening to people tell you why 1 vote shouldn't equal one vote is maddening.

      A vote in WY is basically 3times more powerful than a vote in many other states.

    • I didn’t know that about Vermont. I experienced Utah’s turn to red when I went to University of Utah and they never looked back. What triggered Vermont’s change?

    • What triggered Vermont’s change?

      “During the 1950s, Vermont's urban population centers increased by 6.2 percent, while its rural population actually fell. The growing urbanization of Vermont did not help Republicans who traditionally relied on rural communities for their support. Furthermore, much of this population growth was driven by the ‘importation’ of Vermont residents from outside the state.

      “By 1970, one in four Vermont residents had been born elsewhere, according to Doyle, and many came from more liberal northeastern states, bringing their ideologies with them. 

      “Additionally, in the early 1960s, legislative apportionment was determined by ‘one-man, one-vote’ rather than the traditional ‘one-town, one-vote’ method. Overnight, legislative Republicans representing rural areas had their seats taken away.

      “Some Republican leaders in the state were able to hang on, including well-known Vermont Republicans like George Aiken, Bob Stafford, and Jim Jeffords. But after their retirement, each of their positions turned blue.”

    • Posting this as a non-American. So I apologize in advance if my knowledge on the subject is limited.

      Let me start by saying that there is a lot wrong with the US political system and it’s good to see healthy debates (even protests) to improve things.

      Viewing it from outside in, I can tell you that you do more things right than wrong.

      Even the electoral college has some benefits. Democracies that don’t have this concept, India for example, have an undue influence of populous states in the final decision of who makes it to the top.

      States with a smaller or minority population end up having no say in the matter. They feel marginalized. There are growing demands of “independence”.

      At least the US has swing states. If you just went by popular vote, it might become more one sided. Oscar Wilde said “Popularity is often a sign of mediocrity”. Granted he wasn’t talking about political systems but I still think it’s relevant.

      I also love the federal system of the US for the same reason. While issues like national security are considered a national concern, each state still has its own set of laws on governance. This allows them a sense of identity, despite being part of the United States of America.

    • Thanks for weighing in! Yeah, the aspect of smaller states getting a voice is definitely a key reason why some advocate for the Electoral College. I also do like the aspect of paying attention to each state and seeing who wins what state, so that part I do like about the EC.

    • That's how I feel. If you don't live in a swing state, your vote basically has no meaning. Now, if you are part of a state that is possibly changing colors, like Arizona (viewed a swing state this year) and Texas (projected to go blue in 8-12 years if not sooner), then you can talk yourself into thinking you are part of a trend in the right direction, you can talk yourself into thinking your vote matters, but overall, you are correct on this.

    • Just to add onto @StephenL's post, the thinking is that it really was a combination of different things that happened over several decades. First, you had the GOP in Vermont become divided. There was a progressive wing of the Republican party in Vermont that took shape, separating itself from the conservative wing. This allowed a more unified Democratic Party to take shape. Then, you had an increase in urban populations and a decrease in rural voters. The Republicans really relied on rural Vermont to win. On top of that, you had change of the Democratic and Republican parties as a whole. Like their platforms changing. Finally, you had more people moving from out of state. Pretty soon around 25% of Vermont’s population was people who came from other states. 

      It didn’t happen overnight, but if you look back on it as this article does, things started to weaken as early as the 50s. But it really was the loss in rural voters and a more diverse population that did the Republicans in. 

      I think a similar thing is happening in Texas and Arizona. Two states that have been red for a long time. If/when they flip blue, the GOP will be in a world of trouble. Hell, Arizona is considered a swing state at the moment.