The Electoral College

At our February 25, 2012 meeting, the Executive Committee of the CPWV unanimously approved the following proposed National Party platform position to be introduced by our delegation at the upcoming national party nominating convention to be held in Nashville, TN in April:

Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution states, in part: “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.” This established our Electoral College.

Although the Constitution does not require the states to adhere to any specific manner in electing these electors or how they cast their votes, it suggests, by its wording, that prominent individuals well known in each congressional district, and throughout the states at large, would be elected or appointed as presidential electors. Under one such arrangement, a voter would vote for three individuals, one to represent his district and two “at large” representatives to represent his state. Under another “district ticket” arrangement, the state could be organized into single presidential elector districts equaling the whole number where the voters would then choose only one candidate for each. Either way, these electors, in turn, would then carefully and deliberatively, as participants in the Electoral College assembled, choose the next president. Under this system, each electoral district could select a different candidate if so desired. The candidate with the most electors nationwide would become the next president.

This was the general procedure used until the 1830’s at which time all the states, except for South Carolina, changed to a “general ticket.” Virginia had used the whole number single elector districts method. The Palmetto and Old Dominion states have since conformed and Maine and Nebraska are now the only two states which have returned to the congressional plus at-large district ticket. Inherently, the “general ticket” system causes corruption by the inequitable transfer of power from congressional districts to the states and large cities at the expense of rural communities. And, because individual names of presidential electors are no longer placed on the ballots (having been replaced with typically unlisted slates of party nominated electors) the presidential electors are largely unknown to the voting public.

The Constitution Party therefore encourages states to eliminate the “general ticket” system and return to the procedure intended by the Framers. We additionally encourage the placement of the individual names of presidential electors along with only their city of residence directly on the ballot and in lieu of combined slates or political party affiliation. Furthermore, eliminating the listing of actual political party presidential nominees will go a long way towards developing an informed electorate. Our Constitution established a republican form of government, not a democracy, and as such we are vehemently opposed to the National Popular Vote Plan and any other efforts to either abolish or mitigate the Electoral College.

Comments

2 Responses to “The Electoral College”
  1. jbecker says:

    Incredulously, West Virginia Election Code prohibits the names of presidential electors from appearing on the ballot while also mandating that the party nominees appear as markers:

    §3-1-14. Presidential electors; how chosen; duties; vacancies; compensation.
    Electors of president and vice president of the United States shall be nominated as provided in section twenty-one of article five of this chapter but their names shall be omitted from the general election ballot, as provided in section two of article six of this chapter, to be voted on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in the year nineteen hundred and sixty-four and every fourth year thereafter.

    And
    §3-6-2.(d)(1) Preparation and form of general election ballots.
    In elections for presidential electors, the names of the candidates for president and vice president of each party are to be placed beside a brace with a single voting position, so that a vote for any presidential candidate is a vote for the electors of the party for which the candidates were named.