U.S. Electoral College

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The Electoral College is the constitutional mechanism normally used to select the president and vice president of the United States. It consists currently of 538 electors whose votes are allocated according to the results of popular elections held in each state and Washington, DC. The electoral procedure was established in Article II of the Constitution and has operated since 1789, with one major change in 1804 to accommodate the newly emergent political party system. Only states have electoral votes (not territories), but the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution (1961) gave three electoral votes to the District of Columbia.

Each state is granted a number of electors equal to the total of its representatives and senators in the U.S. Congress. More populous states have more representatives and hence have more electoral votes; however, the addition of two votes per state for senators means that states are represented beyond just their population, which has an important effect for smaller states.

Since the early 19th century, each state normally chooses its electors based on a statewide popular vote for president, though there is no constitutional requirement for this. In 48 states, the entire slate of electors pledged to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide is elected. In Maine and Nebraska, two of each state's electors are chosen by the statewide vote (one for each senator), and each remaining elector is chosen by the vote in each congressional district.

The Electoral College system is highly controversial, especially since the 2000 presidential election. Various reforms have been proposed but none has been approved by Congress, let alone the strict requirements for a constitutional amendment.

Institutional design

Constitutional Convention deliberations and ratification debates

The Electoral College was devised by Constitutional Convention of 1787 as a solution to the problem of selecting a President. The first possibility considered at the convention was the seventh resolution of the Virginia Plan, which called for the president to be selected by Congress. Other possibilities were proposed when this resolution was debated by the Committee of the Whole on June 1 and 2. On June 1, one delegate suggested direct election by the people, pointing out that this mode of selection was already shown to be "convenient & successful" in Massachusetts and New York's gubernatorial elections. Another proposed that the president be selected by Congress's lower house only, rather than by the legislature as a whole.[1] When the convention reconvened the next day, James Wilson of Pennsylvania offered an alternative resolution that resembles the Electoral College scheme:

That the Executive Magistracy shall be elected in the following manner: That the States be divided into -------- districts: & that the persons qualified to vote in each district for members of the first branch of the national Legislature elect -------- members for their respective districts to be electors of the Executive magistracy, that the said Electors of the Executive magistracy meet at -------- and they or any -------- of them so met shall proceed to elect by ballot, but not out of their own body -------- person in whom the Executive authority of the national Government shall be vested.[2]

Two other delegates presented objections to Wilson's resolution, however, and it was overruled in a state-by-state roll-call vote.[3] Debate over how best to select the chief executive continued intermittently over the remaining weeks of the convention until the matter was at last referred to the third "Committee of Eleven," which was constituted on August 31 to address tabled issues. On September 4, the Committee presented its report to the convention, including the the following plan for presidential and vice presidential selection:

Each State shall appoint in such manner as its Legislature may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and members of the House of Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Legislature. The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; and they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Genl. Government, directed to the President of the Senate-The President of the Senate shall in that House open all the certificates; and the votes shall be then & there counted. The Person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of that of the electors; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the Senate shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President: but if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list, the Senate shall choose by ballot the President. And in every case after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes shall be vice- president: but if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them the vice-President. The Legislature may determine the time of choosing and assembling the Electors, and the manner of certifying and transmitting their votes.[4]

Although it was subject to various objections and considerable debate, this proposal was incorporated into the final draft of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution with only superficial changes.

While the Electoral College has been a frequent source of controversy ever since it was put into practice, it was not subject to much criticism by antifederalist opponents to the Constitution. In fact, in his assessment of the institution in Federalist Paper #68, Alexander Hamilton declared that "if it be not perfect, it is at least excellent." His justification, which explains how the Electoral College system satisfies five desiderata, sheds light onto the Constitution's framers' political theory and priorities. Above all, they believed that "the sense of the people should operate" in the selection of the president, but that "immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station." They also desired to minimize "tumult and disorder" in the presidential selection process, prevent it from succumbing to "cabal, intrigue, and corruption," and ensure the president's independence from "all but the people themselves."

Original procedure

Article II, section 1 of the Constitution details the original procedure for presidential and vice presidential selection. It begins with the selection of electors, which is left to the discretion of the state legislature. The number of electors in each state corresponds to its total representation in the U.S. Congress, and anyone who is not a congressional representative, senator, or "person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States" may be designated as an elector.

According to the original procedure, each elector would vote for two individuals, only one of whom could be from his home state. Electoral votes would be cast and certified in each individual state and then sent to the President of the Senate, who would open and tally the votes before a joint session of Congress. The person with the highest number of votes, so long as that number is at least a bare majority of the total number of electors, would be elected president. The person with the second-highest number of votes would be elected vice president.

The section goes on to provide for various contingencies: In the case of a tie between two individuals who both obtain votes from at least half of the electors the members of the House of Representatives, voting as state units rather than individuals, would choose between the two names. If no individual obtains a majority, the House of Representatives would choose, once again voting as state units, from among the top five. The person with the most votes would become president and the runner-up would become vice president. Finally, if there is a tie for the vice presidential position once a president has been selected, a vote is held in the Senate to select a vice president from the two second-place contenders.

Constitutional amendments

Since the Constitution's ratification, two amendments have altered the original design of the Electoral College.

The first was the 12th amendment, which was proposed on December 9, 1803 and ratified on June 15, 1804. Its principal effect was to account for political parties, which had emerged in the United States during the 1790s and gave rise to Electoral College mishaps in both the 1796 and 1800 presidential elections.

The first clause of the 12th amendment states:

The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

In other words, rather than have each elector vote for two individuals on an undifferentiated basis as prescribed in the original Constitution, the 12th amendment instructed them to designate one individual for the presidency and another for the vice presidency.

In addition to accounting for political parties, the 12th amendment also closed a loophole in the original Constitution by explicitly making the qualifications for vice president the same as those for president.

1860 Republican ticket in Massachusetts, with names of the electors; before the Australian ballot reform of 1890, the parties printed their own tickets

The second amendment to affect the Electoral College was the 23rd Amendment, which was proposed on June 17, 1960 and ratified on March 29, 1961. This amendment grants the District of Columbia electoral votes as if it were a state, though it may not have more votes than the state with the least number of electors. Since ratification of the 23rd Amendment, Washington D.C. has had three electoral votes.

The fallback system

If no candidate gets an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College, whether through a tie or by a three-way split, the election falls to be determined by Congress. If the election of the President is in question, the House of Representatives decides among the top three candidates, but it votes by states rather than individuals. A majority is required for the choice of a President.

If the election of the Vice-President is in question, the Senate decides between the top two candidates by simple majority. If necessary, the sitting Vice-President, as President of the Senate, has a casting vote. Thus it is virtually impossible for the Senate to fail to elect a Vice-President.

If the House fails to choose a President by the time the term of office of the new President is supposed to begin (currently 20 January at noon), the Vice-President would be sworn in as acting President.

These procedures have not been needed in practice since the nineteenth century.

The Electoral College in practice

The Electoral College system operated unproblematically in the first two presidential elections (1788 and 1792). In both, George Washington was unanimously elected, with 69 electoral votes in 1788 and 132 in 1792. John Adams, who received 34 electoral votes in 1788 and 77 in 1792, was elected vice president.

As political parties began to emerge, problems with the original scheme grew apparent. In the election of 1796, political rivals Federalist John Adams and Republican Thomas Jefferson obtained 71 and 68 electoral votes respectively. Adams's running mate was Thomas Pinckney, who came in third with 59 votes; Jefferson's running mate was Aaron Burr, who came in fourth with 30 votes. Adams and Jefferson were therefore elected, even though they came from opposing parties. The emergence of the First Party System was an unexpected development, for the nation now had two equally matched parties that operated in each state and presented national tickets.

The crisis came in 1800: Adams and Pinckney were again on the Federalist Party ticket, and Jefferson and Burr on the Republican ticket. This time, however, Jefferson and Burr both got 73 electoral votes, Adams received 64, and Pinckney 63. The tie threw the election to the House. Though Jefferson was the intended Presidential candidate, Burr supporters and Adams supporters repeatedly voted to elect Burr as President, resulting in repeated votes that resulted in ties. Finally Federalist Party leader Alexander Hamilton, alarmed at the prospect of President Burr led Federalists to cast blank votes which allowed for Jefferson's election. With rumors abounding of Virginia militia marching on Washington, Federalist James Bayard, the sole Congressman from Delaware, played the critical role in securing the choice of Jefferson.[5]

Selection of electors

The Constitution specifies that the manner of choosing electors is up to each state legislature. Initially different states adopted different methods. Some state legislatures decided to choose the Electors themselves. Others decided on a direct popular vote for Electors either by congressional district or at large throughout the whole state. Still others devised some combination of these methods. But in all cases, Electors were chosen individually from a single list of all candidates for the position.

As late as the 1920 election, for example, it was possible for voters in 39 states to vote for electors pledged to different presidential candidates, because the ballots listed the names of individual candidates for elector and the voter could vote for any assortment of electors. (This arrangement lasted until 1980 in at least one state, South Carolina.) In fact, in some states, the names of the actual presidential candidates did not even appear on the ballot, although the candidates for elector were usually identified at least by political party. [6]

During the 1800's, two trends in the states altered and more or less standardized the manner of choosing Electors. The first trend was toward choosing Electors by the direct popular vote of the whole state (rather than by the state legislature or by the popular vote of each Congressional district). By 1836, all states except South Carolina had moved to choosing their Electors by a direct statewide popular vote. South Carolina persisted in choosing them by the state legislature through 1860. Today, all states choose their electors by direct statewide election except Maine and Nebraska. Maine adopted a system in 1969, in place for the 1972 election, in which two of the electors are chosen by the state-wide vote (one for each Senator), and the remaining electors are chosen by the Congressional district vote. Nebraska adopted the same system in 1992, in time for that year's election.[7] However, since the system has been in place in both states, the result has been the same as "winner-takes-all" because the district-wide voting mirrored the state-wide voting.

Nomination of electors

Prior to a presidential election, each political party names a list of persons to serve as electors should that party win the state-wide vote. For example, in Vermont, state law mandates that major parties nominate electors at the party platform convention. Minor party candidates may select electors by petition. The party elector lists are sent to the Vermont Secretary of state. After the votes in the presidential election are counted, the electors nominated by the winning party are declared the Vermont electors. In California, however, the electors for each party's presidential candidate are nominated by the congressional and senatorial candidates from that party running in the same election; in the absence of a candidate, the state party chairman selects the nominee elector.

The major parties typically choose party loyalists to appear on their list of elector nominees, to avoid problems with faithless electors.

Election of 1960

In the election of 1960, in Alabama held a Democratic party primary to select electors to appear on the ballot in the general election. The Democratic Party's primary resulted in a slate of 5 electors pledged to the party nominee (Kennedy) and 6 unpledged electors. In the general election, voters could vote for each of 11 electors individually; all 11 Democrat electors came ahead of all of Nixon's electors. The 6 unpledged electors voted for Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia for President, as did 5 unpledged electors elected in Mississippi.[8]

December meeting of the College

2004 Certificate of Vote from Utah, certifying the electors' votes for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Following the presidential election, the electors from each state meet in a place specified by state law. The date the electors meet is set in federal law, specifically to be held on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. [9]

The assembled electors make and sign six certificates noting the votes for president and for vice president.[10] After the certificates are sealed, one is mailed to the president of the Senate (the Vice President); two are delivered to the state secretary of state - one is held in case it is called for by the President of the Senate and the other is held for public inspection; two are mailed to the Archivist of the United States - one is held in case it is called for by the President of the Senate and the other is held for public inspection; the last is delivered to a judge in the district where the meeting took place. [11] Each copy is accompanied by the Certificate of Ascertainment, which is prepared by the state's governor, listing the electors chosen and the number of votes received. [12]

In 2000, Election Day was 7 November and Electoral College Day was 18 December; in 2004, the dates were 2 November and 13 December; in 2008, they were 4 November and 15 December.

Faithless Electors

The term faithless elector is used to denote an elector who does not vote as expected. For example, if candidate A wins the popular vote in a state, that state's electors are expected to place candidate A's name on their presidential ballots.

The Constitution, however, does not dictate any such requirement for electors - it simply notes that states select electors any way they wish, and that electors then vote. Some states have civil penalties for faithless electors, but there is argument about the constitutionality of such laws.

Faithless electors are rare and thus far have not made a difference in the outcome.[13]

Mistakes in voting have been rare. [14]

Impact of the Electoral College

The Electoral College system usually magnifies the margin of victory in presidential elections--a small win in terms of popular votes becomes a large win in electoral votes. The focus on winning states, rather than overall popular vote, affects the political strategies of presidential candidates. Political campaigns concentrate their efforts on those states where the outcome is least certain, and the distribution of electoral votes requires presidential candidates to have broad geographic appeal to be competitive. A study of the impact of electoral college on turnout in the 2000 election shows that state battleground status impacted state-level turnout through its effect on media spending and candidate visits.[15]

Voters have an unequal representation in the Electoral College. Wyoming is the smallest state in terms of population, with 493,782 persons as of the 2000 census, and three electoral votes. This gives each person in Wyoming 6.075 millionths of an electoral vote (or 164,594 persons per electoral vote). California, by contrast, had 33,871,648 persons as of the 2000 census, and 55 electoral votes. This gives each person in California 1.623 millionths of an electoral vote (or 615,848.15 persons per electoral vote), about 26% of the "vote power" than each person in Wyoming. From this perspective, Wyoming (and small states generally) appear more powerful.

However, from the perspective of the candidates, large states are disproportionately important because of the size of the jackpot. Therefore candidates spend far more time and money in one large state than in several smaller states combined. From this perspective voters in large states are more important than those in small states. The curious result is that voters in small states, and voters in large states both think the system gives them an advantage, so they are both reluctant to change.

Primarily because most states allocate electors on a winner-take-all basis, it is possible for the electoral college winner to not have a majority of the popular vote. In 1824, 1876, 1888, 1960 and 2000, presidential candidates with fewer popular votes than their opponent won the electoral vote. In several election years, including 1912, 1916, 1948, 1960, 1968, 1992, 1996, and 2000, the winner of the electoral vote won less than 50% of the popular vote, although except in 1960 and 2000, the electoral college winner had more popular votes than other candidate.

Electoral College controversies

The Electoral College is controversial and has become more so since the election in 2000. Its critics offer two major criticisms against it today: the College's disproportionate rates of representation, and the occasional election of a president who is not the winner of the national popular vote. Additionally, critics believe that the electoral college may depress voter turnout, and worry that faithless electors could swing the results of an election.

Critics argue that electing a minority president is a flaw of the Electoral College system, as is the disproportionate vote power of people in smaller states. In a democracy, critics argue, every person's vote ought to have the same weight, and the Electoral College violates that principle.[16] Critics of the electoral college argue that since each state is entitled to the same number of electoral votes regardless of its voter turnout, there is no incentive in the states to encourage voter participation.

Supporters of the electoral college contend that a republican system is mandated by the Constitution, not a democracy, and that the disproportionate number of votes for small state was a compromise agreed to by every state in 1787-88 and one essential to having a Constitution in the first place.

Judith Best, a researcher of the electoral college and professor at SUNY Cortland, argues that the presidential election process should satisfy six goals: selection of a president with broadly distributed popular support, a swift and decisive selection of the winner, preservation of the moderate two-party system, politically effective representation that include minority views, preservation of the separation of powers, and preservation of the federal principle. Best argues that only the existing system satisfies all of these requirements.[17]

Supporters of the Electoral College argue that the system contributes to the cohesiveness of the country by requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president. Without such a mechanism, they point out, presidents would be selected either through the domination of one populous region over the others or through the domination of large metropolitan areas over the rural ones. In the absence of the Electoral College, presidential candidates would focus almost entirely on large states to the exclusion of smaller states, while at present, they focus more on states where the result is less certain, and the disproportionate voting power of the small states ensures that candidates take into account the political values and concerns of small states as well as large.[18]

Supporters of the electoral college also argue that by partitioning votes by state, the uncertainty and instability caused by recounts in extremely close races (such as in 2000) are limited in scope to one or two states, rather than causing national recounts.[19] Another argument raised in favor of the electoral college is that the effects of any fraud in the election process, such as the casting of fraudulent ballots, are limited to one state, and so only in unusual circumstances (such as the 1960 presidential election) can fraud potentially effect the outcome.[20]

Turner (2007) argues in favor of continuing the electoral college system and discusses the history of reform proposals. Despite periodic complaints from critics, especially in the wake of the election of George W. Bush in 2000, the electoral college still offers more advantages than a direct or popular vote for president. These advantages include a two-party system based on coalition and compromise rather than division, the complexities and expenses of a runoff in a populist national election if no candidate achieves a popular plurality, a fragmented electorate, and the difficulties of a national recount in a disputed election. Advocates of abolishing the electoral college should be wary of the unintended consequences in other proposals, warns Turner.[21]

Reform proposals

Many proposals for Electoral College reform have been proposed. Between 1889 and 1946, 109 constitutional amendments to reform it were introduced in Congress, with another 265 between 1947 and 1968. In 1967, an American Bar Association commission recommended that the Electoral College be scrapped and replaced by direct popular vote for the president, with a provision for a runoff if no candidate achieved the threshold of 40 percent of the votes. The ABA plan, introduced by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh and endorsed by the Nixon White House, passed the House 338-70, but died on a filibuster in the Senate led by North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin.[22]

Some proposals would require constitutional amendments, while others could be adopted on a state-by-state basis. Most face significant political challenges to adoption. Panagopoulos (2004) reports that public opinion polls conducted between 1948 and 2002 show considerable support for electoral reform. Support was found for the abolition of the Electoral College, for changes to the way presidential candidates are nominated, and for alterations to campaign funding and procedures. There was also support for alterations in voting procedures.

Bugh (2004) seeks to understand why attempts to reform the unpopular and heavily criticized Electoral College repeatedly fail. He argues that national electoral structures contribute to such amendment efforts by establishing incentives for pursing and deterrents for stopping reform. Bugh posits that the state of the electoral landscape constrains participants' arguments over amending the national electoral system. These structures include the distribution of electoral votes among states, the intensity of two-party competition, and pattern of pivotal politics. These arrangements change over time in response to various factors from population shifts to civil rights laws, presenting new reasons for and against altering the electoral process. Bugh looked at proposals debated in Congress from 1948 to 1979, focusing on appeals to these features of the electoral landscape. Only twice during the twentieth century did the House or Senate approve an amendment to the system; once in 1950 for proportional distribution of electoral votes and in once in 1969 for direct election.

Proposals regarding allocation of electoral votes

These proposals affect how the states allocate electoral votes, and would not change the constitutional nature of the Electoral College. Some proponents may advocate constitutional change or federal legislation to implement these ideas, but all that is necessary is state action.

Maine Plan

The Maine Plan is the arrangement for distribution of electoral votes used by Maine and Nebraska, where the plurality vote winner in each congressional district is allocated one elector, and the overall statewide plurality winner is allocated the two remaining votes. This proposal dilutes the influence of most states, as the number of Electoral College votes in contention is less the number in contention under a winner-take-all system. In states with strong majorities for one party, this proposal guarantees the other party a significant number of electoral votes. The organization Fairvote contends that this plan would have resulted in a Bush victory by 44 electoral votes in the 2000 election.[23]

After the 2000 presidential election, 21 states considered legislation to award their presidential electors using the district system, wherein one elector is awarded to the popular vote winner of each congressional district and the two state electors are awarded to the popular vote winner statewide. An initiative has been introduced in California which would adopt the Maine Plan, possibly in time for the 2008 Presidential Election.[24] Historically, the district system is viewed as the politically feasible alternative to direct elections because it removes the distortions of the winner-take-all system and can be enacted by state law rather than constitutional amendment. Quite often, support or opposition for the plan is based on the short-term partisan effects which would result from such an adoption.[25] However, the ultimate desirability of the district system lies in how it would change the conduct of presidential campaigns, not the counting of electoral college votes. Under the district system, presidential campaigns would shift their priorities from battleground states to battleground districts. The complexity and uncertainty in targeting these districts would force candidates to contest a larger and more geographically diverse percentage of the population than the system as it stood in 2004. Moreover, the changes in presidential campaigns would increase the likelihood of presidential coattails and the prospects for unified government by increasing the competitiveness of congressional elections in swing presidential districts. Finally, the district system has, at present, a Republican bias because the swing battleground districts favor Republican presidential candidates and have fewer minority and poor residents than the nation as a whole.[26]

Majority national vote

A proposal put forth in California in 2006 and under active consideration in other Democratic Party-controlled legislatures such as Maryland and Colorado in 2007, calls for a state that adopts the plan to give all its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of how the people of that state vote.[27] The plan would go into effect when enough states to comprise a majority of the Electoral College have ratified, and relies on the cooperation of those states. The California bill was vetoed by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[28] In Colorado the bill passed the state senate but not the house. Critics contend that it is unconstitutional (under Article 1 section 10 which prohibits any "compact" among states unless approved by Congress).

Proposals requiring Constitutional amendment

The most popular reform proposals are to simply abolish the Electoral College, and elect the president on the basis of a national popular vote. A constitutional amendment is needed. Such proposals differ in their details: some would elect the plurality winner of the popular vote, while others would require a minimum threshold to avoid a run-off (usually a 50%, or absolute majority threshold).

Additional proposals have included keeping the existing Electoral College, but changing the system by which elections are resolved if no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College, or, separately, legally binding electors or eliminating electors while maintaining the vote counts produced by the Electoral College method.

Notes

  1. James Madison, Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, Notes from June 1, 1787
  2. James Madison, Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_602.asp Notes from June 2, 1787
  3. Ibid.
  4. James Madison, Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, Notes from September 4, 1787
  5. John Ferling, Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (2004) online pp 189-90
  6. Leon E. Aylsworth, "The Presidential Ballot," American Political Science Review 23, no. 1 (Feb. 1923), 89-96. in JSTOR
  7. The Electoral College: Enlightened Democracy. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-05-01.
  8. Gaines (2001)
  9. 3 USC 7
  10. Images of the Certificates of Vote from the 2004 election can be seen at the National Archives.
  11. 3 USC 9-11
  12. Images of the Certificates of Ascertainment from the 2004 election can be seen at the National Archives.
  13. In 1988, for example, one West Virginia elector cast his presidential ballot for Lloyd Bentsen and his vice presidential ballot for Michael Dukakis, the reverse of the ticket. In 1976, a Washington elector cast his presidential ballot for Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford.
  14. In 2004, one Minnesota elector voted for John Edwards on both the presidential and vice presidential ballots. And from time to time, votes go uncast - the last time was in 2000, when one District of Columbia elector failed to cast a ballot.
  15. Hill, David (2005). "The Electoral College, Mobilization, and Turnout in the 2000 Presidential Election.". American Politics Research 33(5): 700-725.
  16. for example, see Rakove (2004)
  17. Best (2004)
  18. Den Beste, Steven (2003-10-15). The Electoral College. Retrieved on 2007-05-02.
  19. Levinson et al (2007)
  20. Theodore H. White, In Search of History, pp. 490
  21. John J. Turner, , Jr. "One Vote for the Electoral College." History Teacher 2007 40(3): 411-416. Issn: 0018-2745 Fulltext: Ebsco
  22. Ornstein, (2001)
  23. Frequently Asked Questions. FairVote (2006-03-05). Retrieved on 2007-05-06.
  24. Hiltachk, Thomas W. (July 17, 2007). Presidential Election Reform Act (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
  25. for example, see a Democrat's response to the possibility of California adopting the Maine Plan, which would shift about 20 Electoral votes to the Republicans in the short term: Hertzberg, Hendrik (August 6, 2007). "Votescam". The New Yorker. Retrieved on 2007-08-13.
  26. Turner (2005)
  27. Stewart, Warren. California First To Pass Legislation To Establish National Popular Vote For President. VoteTrustUSA.
  28. AB 2948 Veto Message.