The Watering Hole: Wednesday, February 27, 2013: Vote-Rigging – The Case for Amending the Constitution

Or Why Section 1, Article 2 is suddenly in the forefront.

The Republican Party, having been stung in the past two Presidential elections have taken it upon themselves to change the rules.

Red states will continue to award electoral college votes on a winner take all basis. But in Blue state after Blue state, Republicans are introducing measures to apportion electoral college votes based on the percentage of the popular vote each party receives. The net result should guarantee that Republicans would regain the White House in 2016, even if they lost the popular vote by a landslide.

But is this Constitutional? Yes. Here’s the relevant portion of Section 1, Article 2:

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.

In fact, the various States could decide to appoint Electors without regard to the popular vote. That’s how broad the power granted to the State’s Legislatures is.

As of this writing, the move to rig elections hasn’t gotten much traction. But in the article linked above, it looks like the Pennslvania State Legislature could ram this through and get it to a willing Republican Governor’s desk for his signature. In these days of very few swing states, even one of them adopting such a rigging scheme could make a difference in the next Presidential election.

The Michigan GOP is eager to do the same thing. Republicans have finally figured out that the people aren’t buying what they have to sell. If our democracy applied the same market rules as Capitalism, they would be out of business. But instead of changing their product line, they want to change the rules of the game; they want a monopoly over the election process.

This, then, is the argument for amending the Constitution to call for electing the President and Vice-President based on the nation-wide popular vote. To be sure, the Ruling Class will spend hundreds of millions to defeat such an amendment.

Already too much power has been consolidated into a hand-full of elected representative who are beholden only to the very, very wealthy. They have gerry-rigged districts, safe seats, and access to virtually unlimited war chests and attack ads to defeat any challenger.

We, the people, must choose: either we change the current system through peaceful means, or it will get to a point where change will come through violence. Just know this; even in peaceful protests, people die. Those in power will, far too often stop at nothing to maintain that power. The uprisings in the Middle East foreshadow the United States’ future unless something changes.