Not that I'm cynical but,

we're really delaying the voting system overhaul because we're waiting for Republican votes in Congress? Please.

The reason we're delaying it is because the Democrats took back the House and Senate and they're leery of doing anything to upset any apple carts. If we were serious about correcting the Mistake of 2000, we'd have had a national referendum on the Electoral College by now. It wasn't just the machines, it was the system. Which has never worked perfectly (how many dead people voted for LBJ? probably about as many as have summer/winter homes and voted in at least one state as an absentee).

All the delay is just posturing. Let's admit the truth: no one, in Congress or in state legislatures, wants change.


Lars said...

There is a better idea than a referendum on the Electoral College. There is a nationwide effort to move to a direct national popular vote for President. I read about it in the Chicago Sun Times. This group is sponsoring legislation in more than 40 states to switch to a national popular vote. This is change that can be made at the state level. If we make such a change it would make every vote equal and destroy the notion of safe and battleground states.

Anonymous said...

Lars, we cannot abolish the EC without following the established procedures to amend the Constitution. Since three-fourths of the states need to vote approval (the method used most often in the past), a national referendum would be quicker than state-by-state voting the way we did for the ERA. However, the states themselves cannot just vote to change the way our elections work (ie, getting rid of the EC) without either a 2/3 vote by both houses of Congress that sends the proposal to them OR a Constitutional Convention. State-based legislation is not going to change anything.

Lars said...

That is what is so innovative about this proposal. It doesn't get rid of the Electoral College. Instead it changes the way the Electoral College operates so that it reflects the national popular vote. This can be done at the state level. Maryland has already adopted the plan.
I read more about it at the groups website, www.nationalpopularvote.com. Really interesting stuff.

stj said...

while I would love to see a popular vote nationally, laws passed so that 3rd, 4th parties can get on the ballots it's just never going to happen. this country's a 2 party system and you're not going to get them to change where they'd be cutting their own throats.
as for the voting machines overhaul don't hold your breath....it's just the powers that be don't want them.
have a question though....how many more lawyers are going to get fat if we do have a national popular vote, suing and tangling up elections in court(s)?

Lazygal said...

Lars, stj has a point: it'll be the lawyers profiting the most from changes - we thought Florida was bad? There were at least 10 other states thinking "whew! glad that's not us!"

In a utopian America, we'd have a national election that couldn't be rigged or contested. Not going to happen any time soon, particularly because those in power don't want it. While the idea behind the new legislation is interesting, the chances of it passing in enough states is slim. Sad, but true.