Topic

electoral college

134 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Ken Paxton, Pam Bondi, Xavier Becerra, Mark Brnovich, Chris Carr, Eric T. Schneiderman, Lisa Madigan, Roy Cooper, Bruce Beemer, Mark Herring

Attorneys General: Ask U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Winner Take All for electors

Allocating electoral votes by Winner Take All is unfair and may be unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment (one person, one vote). Before the 2020 presidential election, Attorneys General especially of populous states like California and New York should take this to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the Winner Take All system. "Lessig's equal protection argument…[is] on the right side of history and logic."—Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law and cofounder of American Constitution Society (December 5, 2016, on Twitter) Law professor and activist Lawrence Lessig writes (emphasis added), 'Yes, the Constitution creates an inequality because of the way it allocates electoral college votes. A state like Wyoming, for example, gets 3 electoral votes with a population of less than 600,000, while California gets 55 electoral votes with a population of more than 37 million. Thus…California has a population that is 66x Wyoming, but only gets 18x the electoral college votes. 'But the real inequality of the electoral college is created by the “winner take all” (WTA) rule for allocating electoral votes. WTA says that the person who wins the popular votes gets all the electoral college votes for that state. Every state (except Maine and Nebraska) allocates its electors based on WTA. But that system for allocating electoral votes is not mandated by the Constitution. It is created by the states. And so that raises what should be an obvious and much more fiercely contested question—why isn’t WTA being challenged by the Democrats in this election? 'The strongest argument about why it isn’t is an argument of reliance (some people gussy this up to a point about “the rule of law” but that’s just confused rhetoric): The election was waged assuming WTA; it’s not fair now, the argument goes, to change the rule for how electors will be counted. 'No doubt, it is unfair to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They spent money in reliance on the existing system. But that’s not the only “unfairness” at stake here: What about the unfairness being felt by the millions of voters whose votes were effectively diluted, or essentially disenfranchised? Why doesn’t their harm also weigh in the balance? 'It’s perfectly clear that the Attorney General of New York or California could walk into the Supreme Court tomorrow, and ask the Court to hear the case. Delaware tried to do this exactly fifty years ago, but the Court ducked the question. But based on that complaint, were I a citizen of California, I’d ask my current AG (and future Senator) why hasn’t CA done the same thing? And were I a citizen of New York, I’d ask my AG the same. Why are these big states standing by quietly as their voters are essentially silenced by the unconstitutional inequality?' Lessig quotes a statement of the argument written by Atlanta lawyer Larry Sims. Salient parts of Sims's argument (emphasis added): 'a winner-take-all system of allocating Electors by the states denies the minority of voters within each state any representation whatsoever within the Electoral College and ultimately in the case of the 2000 and 2016 elections, denies the plurality of voters nationwide their choice for President under circumstances in which the constitutionally established small state advantage made part of the Electoral College would not. This is neither a reasonable nor a rational result in a representative democracy. This result was dictated by the winner-take-all method of allocating Electors used by the states. It is this state law method of allocating Electors that is an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and its bedrock principle of one [person] one vote. … The winner-take-all allocation of multiple Electors (ranging from 3 Electors in our smallest states to 55 in our largest) denies any voice whatsoever to each state’s minority voters, no matter how substantial their vote may be. The distortion of presidential election results by the winner-take-all apportionment of a state’s Electors is an unconstitutional denial of the equal protection of the law.' Donald Trump threatens the U.S. Constitution itself through his aggressive statements against the press (threatening to "open up libel laws"), against free speech (suggesting the government should revoke citizenship as punishment for protest-burning the American flag, which the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld as protected speech), against religious groups (notably Muslims), promoting cruel and unusual punishment (Trump has spoken multiple times in support of waterboarding, which international and U.S. law have deemed torture, which is illegal), and against other institutions protected by the U.S. Constitution. Not only is Donald Trump apparently ignorant of the Constitution, his attacks make clear that he does not care to understand it or intend to uphold it. Given what is at stake, Attorneys General should take the argument against Winner Take All, which is not in the Constitution, to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci/Getty/artisteer via Salon.com) Related articles: How the Electoral College Became Winner-Take-All Why James Madison Wanted to Change the Way We Vote For President Five presidential nominees who won popular vote but lost the election Updated 8/29/17 to edit recipients to match the top 10 states (as of 2008) whose voters are most impacted by biased representation due to Winner Take All. I also added links to a few related articles. While Democrats may be most aware of the unfairness of Winner Take All electors after the 2000 and 2016 elections, the 14th amendment of the Constitution is meant to apply to all U.S. citizens regardless of party affiliation, hence this is not a partisan issue. It's time to amend this undemocratic process that has allowed (at last count) five presidential candidates to win the most votes but lose the presidency. Updated 3/4/17 to replace Kamala Harris, now a U.S. Senator, with Xavier Becerra, acting Attorney General for California. Updated 12/14/16 to add emphasis and another example of Trump's attacks on Constitutional institutions. A New York Times op-ed today titled "Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans" by Dahlia Lithwick and David S. Cohen mentioned the Winner Take All unconstitutionality argument (emphasis added): "There’s no shortage of legal theories that could challenge Mr. Trump’s anointment, but they come from outsiders rather than the Democratic Party. Impassioned citizens have been pleading with electors to vote against Mr. Trump; law professors have argued that winner-take-all laws for electoral votes are unconstitutional; a small group, the Hamilton Electors, is attempting to free electors to vote their consciences; and a new theory has arisen that there is legal precedent for courts to give the election to Mrs. Clinton based on Russian interference. All of these efforts, along with the grass-roots protests, boycotts and petitions, have been happening without the Democratic Party." Updated 12/13/16 to add additional Attorneys General, per commented suggestion.

R T
443 supporters
Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to American people with a moral conscience

Declaration repudiating Trump and Trumpism

Declaration repudiating Donald Trump, his words and actions, and asserting his essential and irremediable unfitness to serve as President of the United States of America We strongly and unequivocally believe it to be the responsibility of every citizen in a properly functioning democracy and normal political environment to accept the outcome of an election freely and fairly conducted and to acknowledge, despite differences of opinion with regard to public policy and political-economic philosophy, those declared winners of such an election as the electorate’s legitimate leaders and representatives. When, however, the citizens are asked to choose between doing what is morally right and carrying out what is their customary responsibility in a democratic society to accept an election outcome, an extraordinary situation has arisen. No citizen should feel or be compelled to take a position for the sake of political expedience that is in violation of fundamental and universal moral principles. In such instance, the citizens have a right – and even a responsibility – to take a stand against an immoral outcome which has been deceitfully attained. That right and responsibility may reach so far as to repudiate the declared winner of such election. To recognize as legitimate such a declared winner of an election would be to commit an immoral act, and no political authority or system can rightfully oblige the citizenry to commit a shameful act which is offensive to fundamental and universally recognized morality. Whereas Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, his key staff, and many of his supporters made explicitly clear during the campaign that they would not feel compelled to accept the outcome of the election if they were to lose, Whereas Donald Trump and elements of the Republic Party ran a campaign based and built upon divisiveness, bigotry, racism, incitement to hatred and even violence, hypocrisy, slanderous untruths, and misrepresentation to an extent so extreme as to be inconsistent with fundamental human, American, and democratic values, Whereas Donald Trump, in contrast to all other major party candidates in perhaps the entire history of the United States has uniquely shown himself by his words and actions to be morally and temperamentally unfit to serve as President of the United States of America, Whereas forces within the Federal Bureau of Investigation took blatant steps to influence the election of Donald Trump in the last 11 days of the campaign, doing so with facilitation from, and perhaps the outright complicity of, FBI director James Comey, and whereas forces from outside the United States used stolen and perhaps falsified emails of Democratic Party officials to influence the election in favor of Trump, and whereas the Trump–Pence campaign exploited the FBI’s irresponsible actions and the stolen materials to create, publish and broadcast patently untrue and defamatory advertisements in the traditional media and to circulate similarly untrue and defamatory messages on social media, Whereas Donald Trump, since being declared most probably to have received the majority of the Electoral College votes, albeit while receiving some 2 million fewer of the popular votes than did the candidate who was his nearest rival, has shown every indication by his words and action that he will refuse to be bound by generally and historically accepted standards to avoid conflicts of interest and would indeed endeavor to utilize the office of president to further enrich himself and his family, and Whereas populist, anti-democratic, demagogic, and potentially authoritarian forces and politicians also are gathering strength in other countries beyond the United States, and notably so in numerous European countries, and whereas these forces and politicians are finding inspiration, encouragement, and public support in the successes of Trump and the vile words and deeds of his most abhorrent supporters, and inasmuch as this phenomenon provides comfort to and encourages greater boldness in our nation’s adversaries even as it threatens our democracy, international cooperation and world peace, Therefore, we the undersigned and those who will support our nonpartisan position and efforts resolve and unambiguously declare that we do not and will never accept that Donald Trump can or does legitimately serve as president of our free country with its tradition of equality, toleration and decency, law and order, or that he should be regarded as legitimately so serving. For us to do otherwise would be to commit an egregiously immoral act. We further declare that we will actively and continuously oppose Donald Trump’s illegitimate and wrongfully obtained claim to the office of the President of the United States of America, and we denounce those within his circle and any other political leader, whether or not formerly or currently holding public office, who had supported or condoned his candidacy and his unjust claim to the office of president.    

Gale A. Kirking
1,108 supporters