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Proposal Details

Proposal ID110
ProposalPosition statement on reforming the Electoral College
PresenterDC Statehood Green Party; Black Caucus; Green Party of Pennsylvania
Floor ManagerMaya O'Connor
Discussion09/06/2004 - 09/26/2004
Voting09/27/2004 - 10/03/2004
Presens Quorum30 0.6666
Consens Quorum49 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


Congress enacted the 14th Amendment in order to ensure equal
protection under the law and voting rights for all citizens, including newly
enfranchised African Americans. But local, state, and federal government
bodies quickly undermined the 14th Amendment, especially through Jim Crow
laws, restrictions on the right to vote, passage and maintenance of winner-take-all and
at-large voting systems, and application of the 14th Amendment to
corporations under the principle that corporations were persons under the U.S.

By the late 19th century, the 14th Amendment was no longer
used to protect the rights of all Americans (especially African Americans,
for whom it was enacted), but to protect corporate power. The 14th Amendment
was converted into a Magna Carta for business.(The American Heritage History of
The Law In America, by Bernard Schwartz, p.130, 1974).

After nearly a century, U.S. government was compelled, thanks
to the civil rights movement, to enforce Section 1, the equal protection
provision of the 14h Amendment. But Section 2 has remained unenforced.

According to Section 2 of the 14th Amendment, Representatives shall be
apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers,
counting the whole number of persons in each State.... But
when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and
Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive
and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature
thereof, is denied to any [citizens qualified to vote], or in any way abridged,... the
basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion
which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens
twenty-one years of age in such State.

Winner-take-all voting for electors disenfranchises large
numbers of American voters. Up to 49% of a states voters may be
disenfranchised, since all of a states several electors are chosen by the political party of
the winning candidate.

The Congressional Research Service report entitled The Electoral College:
Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress (Order Code RL30844:
Updated March 29, 2001) includes the observation that By awarding all
electoral votes in each state to the candidates who win the most popular votes in
that state, the winner-take-all or general ticket system effectively
disenfranchises everyone who voted for other candidates. Moreover, this same flawed
arrangement is the centerpiece of one category of electoral college reform
proposals, the Automatic Plan.

Section 2 of the 14th Amendment calls for a penalty to be exacted on a state
that would deny or abridge in any way citizens of the United
States right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President
and Vice-President of the United States. In exacting a penalty
for disenfranchisement, this section confirms that all votes must be counted and counted

Section 2 of the 14th Amendment contradicts the Supreme Courts Bush v.Gore
ruling. In the 2000 voting scandal in Florida, manipulation of the national
election in Florida by Republican Party officials received the Courts
sanction, when the Court ruled that The individual citizen has no federal
constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States. In
Florida, a class of citizens was disenfranchised, throwing the total of the
states Electoral College votes to George W. Bush in violation of Section 2 of the
14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

The Douglass Institute of Government, the D.C. Statehood Green Party, and the
Green Partys national Black Caucus have already called for reform of the
Electoral College.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), On December 29, 2000,
[Gordon] and Lawrence D. Jamison, members of the Douglass Institute of
Government and residents of the District of Columbia, filed suit (Gordon v. Albert
Gore, Jr., President of the U.S. Senate (1: 00CV031 12)) in the U. S. District
Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin Al Gore, then President of the
Senate, from counting the full slate of Floridas presidential electoral votes
in Congress on January 6, 2001. DIG claimed that to allow Floridas full slate
of presidential electors to be counted would have diluted and diminished the
rights of presidential electors from states that have conformed with the 14th
Amendment. (CRS report on The Voting Rights Act of 1965, As Amended: Its
History and Current Issues (Order Code 95-896 GOV); prepared for members and
committees of Congress)

The Statehood Green Party Platforms section on election reform states We
demand that the District of Columbia replace the winner take all method of
apportioning presidential electors which effectively disenfranchises votes for
all runner up candidates with a requirement that electoral votes shall be
divided in proportion to the popular vote for each candidate.


Position statement on constitutional remedies for
disenfranchised voters, specifically, reforming the Electoral College by
enforcing the 14th Amendments safeguard of voting rights.


The Green Party of the United States supports efforts to
address presidential Electoral College abuses, democratize the electoral process,
and ensure that voters enjoy equal protection and treatment in their
representation by the Electoral College.

The Green Party calls on the U.S. government to enforce
Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was originally intended
to correct the disenfranchisement of African Americans following
emancipation. This Amendment is a mandate for the reduction of state representatives to
the United States Congress and the Electoral College, proportionate to the
disenfranchised class of its citizens deprived of the Constitutional right to
vote in national elections.

The Green Party demands that apportionment of Electoral
College votes reflect the actual votes within states. The Green Party holds that
awarding Electoral College votes on a winner-take-all basis
constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of the right of all American citizens to have
their votes counted, effectively disenfranchising them and violating Section 2 of
the 14th Amendment.

The Green Party of the United States encourages all public policy
organizations and political parties that champion democratic electoral rights to support
this demand and affirm that every vote be counted.




Mal-Apportionment Penalty Civil Actions

D.C. Statehood Green Party release: D.C. Statehood Greens establish Electoral College Task Force, December 19, 2003

A Color-blind Supreme Court? by Asa Gordon, featured commentary in the
Current Issues section of the February 2004 print issue of The World & I.

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