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December 15, 2008
5:35 PM

CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Electoral College and the Right to Vote

WASHINGTON - December 15 - Today, the electors of the Electoral College meet to vote for the next president.

Hubert is an elector currently in Sacramento, and will be engaged in voting from 12:45-3:15 PT. She said today: "I'm honored to have been chosen by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, but I'd rather we voted for a president by popular vote." Hubert was profiled in a recent piece in the local Marin Independent Journal.

Richie is executive director of FairVote and co-author of Every Vote Equal and Whose Votes Count. He said today: "The fact that a handful of party insiders gather today to cast the electoral votes that officially decide the presidency reminds us of our nation's unfinished struggle for a fully protected right to vote. Indeed most of our nation's electors are not bound by the popular vote, and states still have the power to pass laws eliminating the popular vote for president altogether. To honor the millions of new voters at the polls this year, let's advance a simple, but bold proposal: an affirmative right to vote in the Constitution."

In his piece "Ten Surprises about Election 2008," Richie noted: "McCain could have won while losing by seven million votes. ... Thanks to the current Electoral College system, our president is elected through 56 separate contests (50 states, five congressional districts and the District of Columbia), rather than a single nationwide contest. A shift of fewer than 398,615 votes in seven states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, Colorado, and New Hampshire) would have given Sen. McCain a majority of 273 electoral votes."

FairVote has a web page, "Reform Options for the Electoral College."
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