The End of the Electoral College?

Scarberry, Mark Mark.Scarberry at
Fri Oct 15 12:55:41 PDT 2004

One problem is that there is no way, short of constitutional amendment, to
require all states to move to the Maine system. I think the goal should be
to end the partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts. Congress has
the power to end it, under Art. I, sec. 4, cl. 1. That very few
congressional districts are unsafe for incumbents is, I think, a much more
serious flaw in our democracy than the electoral college. 


For partisan gerrymandering to be ended, one party would probably need to
believe it would benefit substantially, and that party would probably need
to have a House majority and the ability to cut off debate in the Senate
with little help from the other party's senators. 


Mark S. Scarberry

Pepperdine University School of Law


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Mulshine [mailto:pmulshine at] 
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 12:37 PM
To: Sanford Levinson; Conkle, Daniel O.; conlawprof at
Subject: Re: The End of the Electoral College?


I would like to note that as an alternative we should consider the syetm
used by Maine, awarding electors by congressional district. Here in Jersey
we have the same problem as Texas; we tend to be ignored (though we are
theoretically in play this year). A district system would assure attention.
Also, it might tend to cause politicians to push for more competitive
districts. And unlike abolition of the college, this is feasible.


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Sanford <mailto:SLevinson at>  Levinson 

To: Paul <mailto:pmulshine at>  Mulshine ; Conkle,
<mailto:conkle at>  Daniel O. ; conlawprof at
<mailto:conlawprof at>  

Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 3:22 PM

Subject: RE: The End of the Electoral College?





As a mere journalist, a columnist at the Star-Ledger of New Jersey who wrote
what is I believe the first news account of that Colorado initiative and its
potential impact, may I ask a simple question: Is this entire debate not
irrelevant? I can see no possible scenario under which the small states
would approve and amendment that would take away the disproportionate power
they have under the current system. Can anyone see such a scenario?

Paul Mulshine

The Star-Ledger

 Isn't the correct answer that this entire debate IS, alas, irrelevant, for
precisely the reasons that Paul Mulshine suggests.  Isn't this sad
conclusion just another illustration of the stupidity (perhaps
"perniciousness" is the more appropriate word) of Article V?


One of the worst features of the Electoral College, incidentally, is that it
means that the candidates give no cogent speeches at all about issues that
might matter to anyone in the non-battleground states.  We in Texas might as
well be living in France for all the attention that either candidate is
paying to "our" concerns.  I have no desire to have the voters of Ohio and
Minnesota "virtually represent" me.  This is an idiotic system that no sane
country would adopt today (including, I would hope, our own, were we writing
on a clean slate).



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