The Instigator
danonspark21
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Peepette
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should we change the electoral college from Population to number of actual voters

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
danonspark21
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 717 times Debate No: 80841
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

danonspark21

Pro

I believe so, our political system seems to be crumbling from the lack of voters that is plaguing our nation. When we look at an average person and the person who votes, usually the person who votes is the one who wants the change the most. The majority of young people have no interest in politics, they would not care if anything has changed. Why is it though we have all the time in the world to complain and protest but no time at all to actually cast in a small piece of paper. For myself, I live in a state and city, Los Angeles California, which has a horrific voter turn out each and every election.

Here in Los Angeles, people are more interested in smoking marijuana and surfing the internet.Don't believe me, believe the actual numbers. The Los Angeles Municipal elections for this year alone were only 8.6%, http://www.latimes.com..., and according to the article it also says that Los Angeles voter turn out has been declining rapidly over the last few decades. And as for the whole state for the 2014 election it was a total of 30%, http://ww2.kqed.org.... How come the most powerful state when it comes to the electoral college is also the most apathetic state in the country. According to the article the highest turn out came from high income elderly white people.
Peepette

Con

The electoral college should not be changed to registered voter counts over actual population numbers. Congress members are chosen relative to a states population, which in turn determines the number of electoral college votes. All members of a given population from birth to death are affected and serviced by the government, ergo should not be excluded.
Debate Round No. 1
danonspark21

Pro

Well before we begin I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

I'd like to challenge the idea that people are affected by Political actions. To the perspective of the average non-voter, the two main reasons why they do not vote are either because they are too busy or they just aren't interested.(https://www.washingtonpost.com...) If they aren't interested then chances are that politics doesn't affect their daily lives.

Voting is a right in the United States and when you say you do not want to vote that is your decision but that means you don't want to be counted in Politics either because you think Politics are boring or you're too busy to either get an absentee ballot or take the time to go to the nearest voting booth and do it.Another reason why a lot of Americans do not vote is because they believe their vote is way too minuscule to even count.(http://www.livescience.com...) In the end though if we do make the electoral college based on voters then they will have a lot more of a reason to vote.

Another thing I would like to point out is that, this is a bipartisan idea. States like Oregon,Maine and Minnesota can have their voices heard much louder.(http://www.csmonitor.com...) The best reason why people in these states vote is because they know that it really does matter, these people all have a busy 9-5 pm schedule as well and they still come out to vote. Clearly they need their voices heard a lot more then these large states like California or Texas who clearly don't really care.These small states are taking time to addressing what is really a problem in their communities and looking to fix the issue besides sitting around and smoking dope all day or shooting pheasants.

If you take the time to actually sit down and listen to debates and vote with a well informed opinion, shouldn't you be allowed to express it more then someone who really doesn't care. It's a lot like the idea of working, shouldn't someone who is working be looked at more favorably then someone who is on Facebook while at their job all day? (http://www.forbes.com...) This is actually true and I would like to make my point by comparing apathetic non voters to people who don't really do their job. When it comes to efficiency in a company the one universal thing that drives employers crazy is the fact people are too bored so they sit around and surf on Facebook or look on Amazon for random stuff.

In my field of work as an Electrician, I have taken many OSHA who have said that being distracted on Facebook on the Job can not only cause an explosion in a refinery but also can ban you from ever being in the Union again. Not only that but good luck ever getting a job in the electrical field ever again. My point is this, if we wish to be a more efficient nation that understands the problems of people who care then we should be addressing people's votes a lot more seriously. Let's stop saying they are too minuscule to ever count and actually show that their votes do count by changing the size of the electoral college every election based on voter turn out. Not only that but then the local governments of these states will begin trying to get their people to vote more.They may put out incentives and create a much better atmosphere. So now my question to my opponent is this, how do you convince someone who is not interested in voting that politics affects their everyday lives?
Peepette

Con

I certainly won"t contest reasons given on why people don"t vote other than adding apathy and loss of faith in the system. I do argue that political outcomes do affect ALL citizens' lives. For example, budget spending, the increase or decrease of dollars allotted to social programs. In 2013 the food stamp budget was cut from $75 billion to $39 billion. Taking into account 47.8 million people were on some sort of food assistance during an economic depression; 14.5% of the population was affected. The federal government also makes policy pertaining to criminal justice with penalties and guidelines, which also includes the ATF. Civil Rights, pertaining to discrimination, gender issues, and same sex marriage, to point out a recent issue. Taxation affects every family, and well, as education policies, environmental regulations, Medicare, Social Security, as well as foreign affairs. At some junction the government does impact on every citizen young, old, voter or non-voter, even green card holders who can"t vote at the Federal level.

On the point of a single vote reflecting an outcome, "minuscule to even count," in certain elections that is true. Some presidents came to office not by the popular vote, but by Electoral College votes. George W. Bush for example when Al Gore received the popular vote; as well as Benjamin Harrison and John Quincy Adams.

Enacting your premise that the Electoral College be based on actual voters, here are projections. Using the last Presidential 2012 election as basis for the argument, there was an estimation of 57.5% of the registered voting population turning out. 222 Million people were eligible to vote (VEP). Of this number, 52 million were not registered. 170 million actual voters cast a ballot representing 56.5% of the total population of 313 million. It is projected that there will be a further decrees in voter participation in the next Presidential election due to new eligibility requirements; example: Photo IDs. These have become very contentious in some states and are more frequently enacted in the Republican held South Eastern and South Central States. The premise is to prevent voter fraud (.00000013% of voters convicted in fraud cases). On the flip side, it is argued ID requirements are being used to disenfranchise the voting poor, as well as black and Latin populations that are more prevalent in these states and who"s rates of casting ballots are as high as 70% (scratch your chin for a moment on this one) Let"s assume with this data that actual voters decline just by a conservative estimate of 2%; it still represents just slightly more than half of the total US population; that includes children (24% of the total) that are considered on what affects their lives. 45% of the remaining people need to have representation, whether they vote or not. The Electoral College facilitates this end being based on population. To enact an electoral college based on actual voters would further the divide of true representation, especially along party lines. Many have reason and want to vote, but can"t. Though apathy may loom large, in southern states as well as rural population areas; being considered as a part of a citizenry is a must.

Addressing your point with Oregon, Maine and Minnesota; they are voter friendly states. Oregon has a vote by mail system. Maine and Minnesota has same day voter registration with no voter ID requirements. Texas has one of the strictest voter ID laws which continues to be contested in the Supreme Court. And yes, we are in agreement that voter incentives are needed to produce a higher turnout. But as the tide turns, it appears that the ability to vote is being skewed to the other majority, whites over 30 with incomes greater than the national average. A day off work holiday to vote would be a nice start, but registration, ID and other voter friendly policies need to be addressed, not a change in the Electoral College.

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http://www.enchantedlearning.com...
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http://americanhistory.about.com...
http://www.diffen.com...
http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov...
http://ballotpedia.org...
http://abcnews.go.com...
http://www.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 2
danonspark21

Pro

I'm glad you brought up the Voter ID laws actually. When it comes to the idea of changing the electoral college to the number of voters per state, having these laws can be a huge disadvantage. In history many Southern and more conservative states have always felt they needed to have larger representation, one of the reasons for this was because of the large populations in the Northern states. In the beginning of our nation, this has created the three-fifths act where every slave in the south counted for three-fifths of a person. The South knew they had to increase their political status somehow and although they looked at their slaves as barn animals they still tried to count them off as human (http://www.aaregistry.org...).

However in today's political and social atmosphere those opinions are long gone but not the idea of trying to suppress their votes. Were you aware that 31 DMV offices in Alabama will close down? The interesting part about it is that all of these counties are at least 75% black (http://whnt.com...). In the article though it talks about how they only account for less then 5% of all Alabama DMV transactions, so in reality it doesn't give a large effect to the state's overall voting capacity. As of 2014 though, 26.7% of all of Alabama is Black (http://quickfacts.census.gov...). So if they try and suppress the voting rights of 26.7% of the voters in Alabama then they will lose 26.7% of their representation in their electoral college if they completely succeed. You see ,mathematically, changing the Electoral College to the number of voters can also punish the more conservative states for their subtle racist policies.

For the sake of it though I would prefer to do some more detailed math. Based on a general poll in 2012, the study has shown that 25% of Black Americans do not have an ID. So if we take that into account of the 26.7% of Alabama, 20.025% of Alabama can still vote but also in the same study 8% of whites do not have an ID as well so 60.904% of Alabama can vote as well. Although the ratio of white to black voters go from 3 to 2 down 3 to 1, the percentage of the state's electoral college votes would actually go down by 12% thus hurting it's political representation. The way I figured the percentage was just adding total population percentage loss from both sides and have gotten a 6% cut from the total number of whites in Alabama but have also gotten the same total 6% cut from the total number of blacks in Alabama, thus giving a total of 12% (http://www.politifact.com...).

Now my point is this, we can be a lot more efficient and also referee the states that try and cheat through these laws just by counting the number of votes from each state. The math clearly shows just how we can do that and it has shown Alabama can easily lose an eighth of it's Electoral College votes. When it comes to representation though, a lot of these people are on the fringe of the mainstream American society. Do you believe that drug dealers,hookers,murderers and pedophiles deserve a vote? Why is it that when someone commits a felony the first thing we take away from them is the right to vote? It's because we believe their representation is null and void due to the fact they have caused such harm to society. We like to pretend that we would like to listen to everyone's opinion but would you listen to a pedophile's opinion about the sex offender laws being too harsh? And if we listen to their opinions wouldn't we be infringing on the rights of their victims to not live in fear? You see we already choose who gets to vote and who's opinion matters.

I'd like to say I appreciate the debate and it truly was a fun one to discuss. I personally believe having these philosophical debates on politics and geography really is good for your mind. It really does test your strategic thinking to a whole new level and gets you ready for a lot more challenges in life.
Peepette

Con

With the DMV closings; using the fact that the population being served is at only 5% of the total of all Alabama DMV transactions is poignant, especially if 75% of the population in these counties is black. Through your reasoning, I believe you are making the point for me that the Electoral College should be based on population. To eliminate 26.7 % voter participation of this group, which typically votes Democratic, would be advantageous to the conservatives; knocking out the competition so to speak.

Your more detailed math example again furthers my premise. Voter ID laws reduce participation in the electoral process. Nationwide, African Americans and other minorities, collectively with those between the ages of 18 and 24 have been affected by these ID requirements.

In 2012, 18-24 year-olds made up 18 percent of all eligible voters in America, but only 13 percent actually voted, but represented 19% of the total ballots cast. 60% from this age group voted Democratic, which in the last election was enough to bring the current Democratic President into the Whitehouse. Obama won with 51% of total votes cast. Making it more difficult for young voters and people of color reduces their voice, which again leans more toward the Democratic Party nationwide but, especially diminishes their representation in Republican held states.

Using Alabama as an example on the premise that only actual voters be represented in the Electoral College; the number of Electoral members would drop from the current 9, assuming a block of voters have been knocked off due to voter ID laws. Currently, the number of Electoral College members is tallied by the number of Senators in each state (2), and number of Representatives (7), which is based on the population of the state. So here"s the snap. To reduce the number of Electoral College members to actual voter counts, the government would have to also reduce the number of Representative by the same number. Putting into consideration the amount of gerrymandering that occurs, especially in southern states to ensure party dominance, these Democratic votes would not be reflected in the House of Representatives. Only 1 district in Alabama has a Democratic Representative. Greatly reducing eligible voters in the minority and 18-24 classes due to ID laws would be prohibitive of any Democratic House representation.

It"s clear that voter ID requirements have proliferated in Republican held states. Since the majority of minorities live in the Southern states and the youth vote overall and tends to vote Democratic, ID laws are intended to eliminate party competition. Further consideration needs to be given that the total non-Hispanic white population of the US is at 63%. The current Black voting percentage is higher than whites. The Latino rate of voting is only 1% less than whites; which is expected to rise significantly in the next election. Asian American and other minority groups also have slightly higher voter turnouts than Caucasians. In 2012 of actual votes cast, 67% of Hispanics, 60% of 18-24 yr. olds, 98% of African Americans voted for Obama These are the voters who put him in office. It"s a changing America and these people want their voices to be heard, not squashed with ID laws.

Though the elimination of the Electoral College and basing Presidential elections on solely the popular vote sounds appealing, there comes a problem. The South and Midwestern states" economy is significantly different than the North East and South West. There are higher population densities in the latter, where area economic interests are centered on finance, technology and manufacturing; where as in south and central areas, petroleum, mining and agriculture are the economic forces. For any presidential hopeful wanting to win, all he/she would need to do is make promises to the interest of the populations dense North East and South West to be an instant win. Resulting, the remaining population, especially in high minority populated areas of the south, to be place at a significant disadvantage when it comes to economic and domestic policy; the Electoral College off-sets this skew.

In response to your comment "When it comes to representation though, a lot of these people are on the fringe of the mainstream American society. Do you believe that drug dealers, hookers, murderers and pedophiles deserve a vote?" I agree incarcerated felons should have no right to vote, but once freed do have a say. As to whom "they" are, I am sure your intent was not designed to disparage any particular group, but I'd like to point out a few crime statistics. 52% of all homicides in the US are committed by whites. Pedophiles mostly are white males between the ages of 25 and 45 from upper income brackets. The highest rate of drug use at 38.2% is white young adults 18 to 25 predominately in college. African-American (30.6%) and Hispanic (27.5%) of the same age. There are a variety of factors that results in higher rates of minority incarceration over whites; but that debate is for another time.

And I too am enjoying this debate.

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http://www.pewresearch.org...
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Bosoxfaninla 1 year ago
Bosoxfaninla
Pro contradicted the whole argument in round two stating " Let's stop saying they are too minuscule to ever count and actually show that their votes do count by changing the size of the electoral college every election based on voter turn out. " The question is whether the idea should be kept or tossed out. Surprised the Con did not call him out on that :/
Posted by danonspark21 1 year ago
danonspark21
Oh wait sorry nevermind I thought the wording was off, please disregard the last comment
Posted by danonspark21 1 year ago
danonspark21
Would like to apologize what I meant for the question was, Should we keep the electoral college for Population to number of actual voters
Posted by danonspark21 1 year ago
danonspark21
yea they should be anyone is allowed
Posted by soccerisfun 1 year ago
soccerisfun
are Ks allowed? If so I'll do this
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by soccerisfun 1 year ago
soccerisfun
danonspark21PeepetteTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: The debate kind of got sidetracked. It started off interesting but Con forgets to tie in the points into the resolution. There are these great arguments about how government affects everyone but no tying in done to the topic - all neg has to say is since it affects that many people, the proportion should be based on that number, but this argument isn't made. Aff makes a claim about how this system will stop racist policies so I have to vote off that even though I don't want to. A really good idea, thanks for coming up with this nice topic.
Vote Placed by Bosoxfaninla 1 year ago
Bosoxfaninla
danonspark21PeepetteTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Very off topic debate. Turned into a debate about voter ID and voting rights, more than the electoral college. Pro: Off topic alot, specifically on the issue of why people don't vote which is irrelevant and did not require a whole contention dedicate to it, also voter ID laws. It's also important to note in round 2 pro made a point that was contraindicating to his stand on the issue, advocating for us to keep the Electoral college, but just simply making adjustments each election cycle, which is not the question of the debate. Great point on how individual voters who care should have a louder voice than the state as a whole, and also low voter turn out. However again you seemed very contradicting at times. No need to bring race into this debate. Con: Off topic most the debate, also no need to tie race or ethnicity into it which you did on multiple occasions to this debate. Only EXTREMELY strong point was on how the current system can easily be abused by candidates.