The Electoral College and the National Popular Vote
Charles Young of Umpqua Community College, professor of history and government, spoke last night, 4/18/17, at the (soon-to-close) Douglas County Library in Roseburg, Oregon. He spoke eloquently about the formation of our early government and the Electoral College. The founding fathers were careful and thoughtful about including all of the states, large and small, while developing our constitution which led to the inclusion of the Electoral College.
We would like to share photos from last night’s presentation and discussion on the Electoral College and how we elect our nation’s presidents. Thank you to all who attended. Please visit our new webpage dedicated to the National Popular Vote webpage, which the League of Women Voters supports.
You probably know that it takes 270 electoral votes for a presidential win. But why that number, 270? If you add up all of the Senators (100) and all of the House of Representatives members (435) and the Washington, DC, representatives (3), the total is 538. Divided in half equals 269, therefore the number needed to win the election is 270. And there was much more about the country’s constitution, and how and why it was set up that way 230 years ago in 1787.
A current subject related to national elections, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, was also discussed, which is a proposal that would go around the constitution by states voting to instruct their electoral college voters to vote for the person who wins the national popular vote. Right now 11 states with 165 electoral votes have passed NPV, and the Oregon House has passed it in May 2015 for the third time, also failing in the Senate three times.
Newsflash! Candidate wins office without receiving a majority of the votes!
How can this happen in a democracy, where equality, including the concept of “one person, one vote” is fundamental to our creed?
The League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley will hold an event on …
Tuesday, April 18 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Library, 1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. in Roseburg.
The program will feature Umpqua Community College history professor Charles Young speaking about the Electoral College.
- What is the history of the Electoral College?
- What are its pros and cons?
- What is the National Popular Vote Compact?
Come and learn about this important subject. There will be time for questions and answers.
The meeting is free and open to the public. For information call: --.
Be sure to check out our Photo Page that has just been updated with photos from the Yoncalla Petticoat Council 1920 event held on Mar. 22.
LWV Umpqua Valley thanks Shannon Applegate, a wonderful friend of the League’s, historian, author, and lecturer, for sharing her knowledge, research and insights about members of her family and others back in the day during 1920. We hope you all got to be there!
Check out our Photos Page.
And check out the News-Review article about the event! Thank you, News-Review!
“We Can’t Do Worse Than the Men! Yoncalla Women Take Over Municipal Government 1920”
Join the League of an evening of historical entertainment when Shannon Applegate recounts the time when the women of Yoncalla took over the local government because the men were not doing their jobs.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Douglas County Library, 1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd., Roseburg, OR
7PM to 8:30PM
A quote from The Atlantic regarding this long-ago event.
“On November 2, 1920, the citizens of Yoncalla, Oregon, got a big surprise as the ballots were tallied in their local election. All the incumbent men on the city council had been voted out. Yoncalla, a small town of 323 residents about 40 miles south of Eugene, had voted in an entirely female city council.”
This presentation is open and free to the public. All are welcome.
For more information, contact us at   .
Download and print or email the flyer to distribute. Thank you!
Press release dated 3/8/17:
SALEM – Oregon Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) and House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland) released the following statement today regarding plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“The plans by Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act are inhumane, unjust and will harm families in Oregon and across the country. Our most vulnerable community members – the sick, elderly, children and low-income families – will be robbed of the life-saving care they need.
Under this plan, average Oregon families will shoulder a much higher burden, or go without coverage. Taxpayers will carry far more of the costs of caring for those who need it. People who need health insurance the most, and finally have it under the ACA, will be put at risk again. This will have devastating impacts throughout Oregon, particularly in rural areas, where there is a higher percentage of Medicaid patients. This will make our state less healthy and less prosperous. Trump’s plan is a losing proposition for Oregon families.”
It’s time to contact your Oregon legislators about supporting SB 823, the “National Popular Vote” (NPV) bill.
Contact your own state legislators and also Oregon’s senate president Peter Courtney. The NPV is a way to make every voter’s vote count in a presidential election. Clicking on the links in the message below will get you to three suggestions for the text of a message, which you can personalize.
- Use this OLIS link for info on the bill’s status. https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB823
- This one for OR state senators’ contact info: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/senate/Pages/SenatorsDistrict.aspx
- This one for OR state house reps’ contact info: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/house/Pages/RepresentativesDistrict.aspx
- The message below, including the video, is very similar to what you’ll find at the LWVOR’s website at http://lwvor.org/2017/03/01/fix-electoral-college/.
Spread the word to your friends in other parts of Oregon to help make every vote count!
Jenny Carloni, LWVUV President, 3/6/17
Read the full study here.
Here’s the Executive Summary.
Here’s the Consensus Questions. Please bring a copy with you to the meeting.
If you would like to attend this meeting, call    for directions.
Postsecondary Education Study Consensus Meeting Thursday, 2/23/17 at 7pm to 8:30pm.
Hello LWVUV Members,
Are you planning to attend our Election Methods Study Update Consensus Meeting this Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7:00-9:00? If so, please RSVP to Jenny. It will help to know how many are coming.
The following references refer to this document: Elections Methods Study 2016 (PDF)
Recommendations in reaching consensus:
- Read appendixes 4 and 5 first.
- Look at appendix 2, pages 46-7 on evaluation criteria.
- Look at the charts on pages 4, 5, and 21 for a quick overview of different electoral systems.
- Then browse through the text and read whatever captures your interest on the mechanics of specific types of voting for both single winner elections and multiple winner contests. The section on proportional representation is especially recommended as perhaps the most unfamiliar to us.
- Finally, look at chapter five (pages 42 and 43) for administrative issues around changing the current system.
If you have time to watch these three videos, that may be more helpful than reading some of the more technical passages.
- Instant Runoff Voting – Three Examples
- How Instant Runoff Voting Works – Multiple Winners
- Instant Runoff Voting Explained
At lwvor.org you’ll find a handy link right in the middle of the page. Click on ELECTION METHODS STUDY UPDATE and you’ll be taken to a page where you can click and view some short videos, and find a wealth of other info as well.
Please bring the Consensus Questions with you. Otherwise, we will have a few copies available at the meeting.
Be sure to check out our Listening Project web page as we’ve just updated it with news about our project.
We are offering a new course in creating a Culture of Listening in our community and to each other.
Please join us!
For more information download the flyer by clicking on the image below.
Chris Carson, the leader of the national League of Women Voters (LWV), issued the following statement on Feb. 1, 2017.
The Supreme Court nominee President Trump announced this week will play a major role in setting the course for American democracy over the coming decades. That may seem like an exaggeration, but the Supreme Court is currently divided four to four on most major issues. The incoming justice will ultimately be the deciding vote on crucial issues that shape the direction of our system of government and our country.
The League of Women Voters believes that any Supreme Court nominee should share his or her views on fundamental issues. We have three questions for a nominee:
1. Must the Executive Branch obey court orders from the federal judicial system?
Our system of checks and balances is the basic tenet of a free democracy. To prevent authoritarianism, the Founders made sure that that no one branch of the government could dominate the others. But in recent days, it appears that the Executive Branch is challenging that system by refusing to obey federal court orders limiting President Trump’s anti- immigration policies. The Supreme Court nominee must take a stand, one way or the other, on the role of federal courts in our system of government.
2. What is the appropriate role for voting rights in our democracy? Our nation was founded on a belief that voters should be in charge of our government rather than government being in charge of the voters. However imperfect at the beginning, citizen voting rights have grown through constitutional amendments to include women, racial and ethnic minorities and young people. But we are seeing efforts to roll back voting rights, with laws designed to make it more difficult for people to exercise their right to vote. The Supreme Court nominee should let the American people know his or position, whether voting rights enforcement is a vital component of our representative democracy or if the nominee thinks limitations can be justified under our Constitution.
3. Is big money in politics a fundamental part of our electoral system, or can limits sometimes be justified? Some believe that corporations, unions, organizations and individuals should be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, and to do so secretly. Others see this as an existential threat to our democracy. The Supreme Court nominee should state his beliefs related to the influence of money in our elections.
Judicial nominees should not be required to tell us how they will decide future cases, but they should share with the public the basic principles they support or oppose. For the Senate to carry out its constitutional duty to advise and consent on judicial nominees, truthful answers about basic principles are required. A presidential nomination is not a blank check. The Constitution requires the Senate to do its duty.
The League of Women Voters urges the Senate to explore these three fundamental questions with any nominee before voting to confirm or reject the next Supreme Court justice.