NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Alternatives To The Electoral College

November 10, 2000

In light of the presidential election in which Al Gore seems to have won the popular vote and George W. Bush the electoral vote, some analysts are calling for the end to the electoral college. The election dramatized, they argue, that parties care more about your vote depending upon where you live.

There have been more proposals for constitutional amendments to change the electoral college than on any other subject. They include:

  • A direct popular vote, with a runoff between the top two finishers if no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote.
  • A district plan awarding two electoral votes to state's popular vote leader and the others to the winner in each congressional district.
  • A proportional method dividing each state's electoral vote to mirror its popular vote, which would do away with the winner-take-all nature of counting electoral votes.
  • Majority preference voting, in which voters rank their preferences; if no candidate received more than 50 percent, the bottom vote-getter would be eliminated and the second choices of those voters would be redistributed, repeating the process until someone had more than 50 percent.

Another proposal would keep the electoral college in place, but add another 102 electoral votes (two for each state and the District of Columbia) and award all of the bonus votes to the national popular vote winner.

Source: Jim Eskin, "Electoral College a Ticking Time Bomb," Dallas Morning News, November 10, 2000.


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