December 8, 2021

Florida Needs to Abandon the “Winner-Take-All” Method of Awarding Electoral Votes

The Electoral College

Some Americans who vote for the president and the vice president every four years think that they are voting directly for a candidate. Actually, they are voting for electors who will cast their ballots in the electoral college. Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution requires each state legislature to determine how electors for the state are to be chosen. Our nation has an indirect method of selecting a president and vice president.

Candidates for elector are nominated by the political parties of each state in the months prior to Election Day. The electors are pledged to the candidates chosen by popular votes in their states. The total number of electors is 538, which is equal to 100 Senators, 435 members of the House of Representatives, and three electors for the District of Columbia. The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1961, added three electors for the District of Columbia. The number of electors for each state equals the number of senators (two) in addition to the number of representatives in Congress for that state.

The number of U.S. representatives of each state is determined every 10 years by the United States Census. As population changes, some states gain representatives and other lose some since the number of representatives in Congress has been fixed at 435. Currently, the six states with the highest number of electors are California (55), Texas (34), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20), and Pennsylvania (20). Each of the seven states that have the smallest population in the nation has three electors. These seven states are the following: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Each of these states are awarded two electoral votes for their two senators and one for their sole representative.

The Tuesday following the first Monday in November has been selected as the day for federal elections. This day is called the Election Day. Electors chosen on presidential Election Day meet in the capital of their respective states on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, at which time they cast their electoral votes on separate ballots for president and vice president.

The Constitution does not require the electors to cast their ballots for the candidates of their party. However, on rare instances in history, some electors casted their ballots for a candidate that did not receive a majority of the popular votes. A faithless elector is one who casts an electoral vote for someone other than the person pledged or does not vote for any person. This is a rare event, but in 2000, an elector from the District of Columbia chose not to vote rather than vote for Al Gore as she had pledged to do. Faithless electors have not changed the outcome of any presidential election to date.

The electors’ ballots are counted and certified before a joint session of Congress early in January. The candidates who received a majority of the electoral vote, which is 270, are certified as president-elect and vice president-elect. According to the Constitution, if no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the election of the president is decided by the House of Representatives from the candidates with the three highest numbers of votes.  Each state has one vote.

Why is it important for Florida to change the method of awarding its electoral votes?

In all states, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, electors are elected on a “winner-take-all” basis. The 48 states that have the “winner-take-all” method award all of the electoral votes to the presidential and vice presidential candidate who win most of the popular vote. Maine and Nebraska are using the “congressional district” method. Under this system, Maine and Nebraska award one electoral vote to the winner of the popular vote of each congressional district and two electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state. Maine started to use the “congressional district” method in the election of 1972 and Nebraska since the election of 1992. The “congressional district” method allows the state the opportunity to split its electoral votes between two or more presidential candidates.

In 2010, Republicans in Pennsylvania were in control of the state Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the office of the governor. They considered changing the “winner-take-all” system in their state to a “congressional district” method. The plan was fiercely opposed by Democrats. Unfortunately, the Republicans, who could have changed the system of awarding electoral votes, dropped the plan. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama won the popular vote in Pennsylvania, but the president only won a minority of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts. If the Republicans would have changed to a system of “congressional district” in 2010, the majority of the electoral votes in 2012 would have gone to Governor Mitt Romney. Instead, Obama received all 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania when he won the majority of the popular votes in that state. The failure to change the system in Pennsylvania was a great mistake made by the Republican Party since in 2010 they had the votes to make the change. The Republican party in Florida should not repeat the same mistake made by the Republicans in Pennsylvania.

If Florida and all other battleground states had had the system of awarding electoral votes using the “congressional district” method in 2012, our current president would have been Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate in 2012 won the popular votes in many congressional districts in the battleground states. Therefore, Romney would have split the electoral votes in the states where he lost to Obama in the popular vote.

Puerto Rico is going bankrupt

Matt Lysiak wrote an article entitled “Puerto Rico: the next Detroit” in the November 2013 issue of Newsmax magazine. He explained that in September 2013, UBS Ag and other brokerage firms advised approximately 40,000 U.S. investors and brokers not to purchase bonds from Puerto Rico, which are used to finance the island’s enormous deficits. Puerto Rico’s bonds now trade at near $.60 on the dollar. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has about $70 billion of total debt, in addition to another $30 billion of unfunded liabilities. The Puerto Rican public pension plan is funded only about 11.2%. Illinois has the worst unfunded liability of its public pension plan in the nation. Illinois has funded 40.4% of its liabilities. Thus Puerto Rico is even worse than Illinois, Barack Obama’s near bankrupt progressive state.

Lysiak reported that Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate was 13.2% in September 2013 and one in four island residents are receiving entitlements, such as food stamps or income assistance. The culture of dependency is alive and well in Puerto Rico. He pointed out that Gustavo Velez, a prominent Puerto Rican economist, stated the following: “The investment has fled. The Puerto Rican economy is near collapse. The government is running out of money and there is no end in sight.”

The voters of Puerto Rico elected a populist and progressive governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, in 2012. He defeated conservative reformer Republican Luis Fortuno, who was reducing spending and was trying to keep the Commonwealth from going bankrupt. The new progressive governor raised taxes by over $1 billion driving more businesses and corporations away. It looks as if Puerto Rico will be the next Detroit. The Commonwealth ran a $39 billion deficit in 2012, which was an increase of $5.4 billion over 2011. The progressive governor has done nothing to reduce spending, and similar to President Barack Obama, Governor Garcia Padilla thinks that higher deficits and more taxes will revive the island economy. But it will not, the governor’s misguided economic policy will accelerate Puerto Rico’s road to bankruptcy and economic collapse.

As a result of Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla´s terrible economic policy, poverty has increased in the island, manufacturers and businesses are leaving, and about 100,000 Puerto Ricans are relocating to the mainland in search of better opportunities. What is the implication for Florida? An increasing number of Puerto Ricans are leaving the island and moving to the Sunshine state in search of a better future.


Changing demographics in Florida

Barack Obama won a plurality of the votes in Florida during 2008 and 2012. Therefore, he received all of Florida’s 29 electoral votes. In future elections, it would be impossible for the Republican Party presidential candidate to win the White House without winning Florida. Democrats always win in California (55), New York (29), and Illinois (20). Therefore, they start the election with 104 electoral votes. Frequently, the Democrats win in Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes. This gives the Democratic presidential candidate 124 electoral votes, almost half of the votes needed to be elected president. The presidential election is decided by the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and others.

Florida has a large Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Central American population, which is growing very rapidly. It also has some Mexican-Americans. Most of these Hispanic or Latino groups tend to vote for the Democratic Party. In 2012, there were approximately 1.5 million Hispanics or Latinos who were registered to vote in Florida and who represented 14% of the total vote. Among registered voters, 592,000 Hispanics are registered Democrats, 463,000 are registered Republicans, and the rest are registered as no party affiliation. During the 2012 presidential election, Obama led Romney 68% to 32% among the non-Cuban Hispanics. Obama also won 60% of the Hispanic vote in Florida in 2012.

In November 2013, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans voted overwhelmingly for Bill DeBlasio for mayor of New York City. These two Hispanic groups voted for a candidate who is a communist and worked for the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York City have also elected several times two Puerto Rican extreme radicals to the House of Representatives.  José Serrano,  a Marxist and a friend and admirer of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and of communist Hugo Chavez from Venezuela, was elected in 1990. He has been reelected ever since with more than 90% of the votes. In 1992, Nydia Velazquez was elected to the House of Representatives. Like Serrano, Velazquez has communist connections. Puerto Rican Luis Gutierrez was elected to the House of Representatives representing Chicago in 1992. Gutierrez belonged to the Marxist Puerto Rican Socialist Party.

In 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there were 4.217 million Puerto Ricans living in the United States and 3.951 million living in Puerto Rico. Two years later, in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that there were 4,623,716 Puerto Ricans living in the mainland of the nation which represented 9.2% of the total Hispanic population of the United States. In 2010, there were 1,785,847 Cubans (3.5%), 1,414,703 Dominicans (2.8%), and 3,998,280 Central Americans (7.9%). These are the main Hispanic groups that live in Florida.

Approximately 350,000 Puerto Ricans live along the I-4 corridor in central Florida and many others live in South Florida. Many Puerto Ricans are moving to Florida from New York and from the island of Puerto Rico to join friends and family members who have  settled there earlier. There are many progressive radio stations in central Florida as well as leftist Spanish television channels, such as Univision and Telemundo. Thus, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics along the I-4 corridor are inundated with progressive propaganda. Very seldom do they hear other points of view such as the advantage of a free market economy and a smaller less oppressive federal government. This writer, as well as Dr Juan Torres, who belong to the Bear Witness Central organization, are being interviewed on a weekly basis by a conservative radio station in Orlando. Our voices are needed in order to present a conservative point of view and a fair and balanced discussion of the Obama administration. There are tens of thousands of Central Americans and Dominicans who also live in the Sunshine state.

With the changing demographics involving Hispanics in the state of Florida, it is most important for the Republican Party, which presently controls the office of governor and the majority of both houses of the state legislature, to change the method of allocating Florida’s 29 electoral votes from a “winner-take-all” to a “congressional district” method. The winner of the popular vote of each of the 27 congressional districts would receive one electoral vote and the winner of the popular vote in the state would receive two electoral votes (representing the two senators elected in the state). In this manner, no presidential candidate would receive all of Florida’s 29 electoral votes.

Another advantage of the “congressional district” method is that it reduces the possibility of committing fraud during elections since Florida has 67 counties and 27 congressional districts. It is easier to commit fraud by concentrating on Florida’s largest counties. It is of utmost importance to eliminate all electronic voting machines since all of them can be quickly altered by introducing a computer virus. Additionally, the Republican Party and other conservative groups need to pay attention to the Hispanic community in Florida and other states. A serious and sustained outreach effort must be made to counter the enormous propaganda that Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Central Americans, and other Hispanics are being subjected by the pro-Obama Spanish radio and television stations. Perhaps, with a long sustained effort, Puerto Ricans would consider electing into office non-Marxist politicians in New York and Illinois. Other states, similar to Florida, where Republicans control the office of governor as well as the two houses of the state legislature, should also change the method of allocating its electoral votes.

In light of the changing demographics, failure to change the method of allocating electoral votes in Florida would mean that more than likely the Republican Party will never win the White House again. It will become a minority party forever and the Democratic Party’s march towards a socialist political and economic system would not be able to be stopped. The time to act is now while the Florida legislation is planning its current session.