# How 12 Voters Could be Enough to Elect a US President

Duchess64
Debates 11 Nov '16 03:02
1. 11 Nov '16 03:02
This post is a reductio ad absurdum of the US electoral college system.
In theory, it's possible for only 12 voters to elect the US President, X.
Let's suppose that only one person votes for X and no one else votes
at all in every one of these following states.

California 55
Texas 38
Florida 29
New York 29
Illinois 20
Pennsylvania 20
Ohio 18
Michigan 16
North Carolina 15
New Jersey 14
Virginia 13 (total of 267 electoral votes so far)
any other one state (which all have at least 3 electoral votes)

Then X would win the electoral votes of all 12 of these states, giving X
at least 270 electoral votes, enough to win the election.

It would not matter if X's opponent won the popular vote by more than
100 million to 12. Under the law, X would have won the election.
And the USA would keep showing that it's a model of democracy!
2. sh76
Civis Americanus Sum
11 Nov '16 03:381 edit
Originally posted by Duchess64
This post is a reductio ad absurdum of the US electoral college system.
In theory, it's possible for only 12 voters to elect the US President, X.
Let's suppose that only one person votes for X and no one else votes
at all in every one of these following states.

California 55
Texas 38
Florida 29
New York 29
Illinois 20 ...[text shortened]... , X would have won the election.
And the USA would keep showing that it's a model of democracy!
I have a reductio ad absurdum for any election anywhere.

How 1 voter could be enough to win any election in any country:

He or she votes and nobody else does.
3. lemondrop
pawn grabber
11 Nov '16 03:55
if you base an election on the popular vote
it only takes one
4. 11 Nov '16 05:463 edits
Originally posted by sh76
I have a reductio ad absurdum for any election anywhere.

How 1 voter could be enough to win any election in any country:
He or she votes and nobody else does.
Here's Sh76's scenario:
A gets 1 vote, B gets 0 votes. A wins.

Here's the scenario that I described:
A gets 12 votes, distributed in the right states. B gets 100 million votes in other states.
A wins. Sh76 apparently regards this result as no more absurd than the result in his scenario.

Contrary to Sh76's fatuous disingenuous argument, 1 vote defeating 0 votes is not absurd.
5. 11 Nov '16 09:25
Originally posted by sh76
I have a reductio ad absurdum for any election anywhere.

How 1 voter could be enough to win any election in any country:

He or she votes and nobody else does.
do you really not get what she is trying to say? are you dumb?
she is trying to show the absurdity of your system. millions of people could vote and their votes be rendered useless by a dozen. in your "equal" analogy, those that didn't vote made their choice. they remained silent. a decision was made without them. in her scenario millions of votes were cast but because of your system they would be ignored.

in a real democracy, the majority should get to decide on an issue. you have an archaic system that allows someone to get elected with fewer votes because for some reason, you consider winning a state with a 51-49 split is the same thing as winning a similar state with a 99-1 split.
6. Wajoma
Die Cheeseburger
11 Nov '16 09:362 edits
Originally posted by Zahlanzi
do you really not get what she is trying to say? are you dumb?
she is trying to show the absurdity of your system. millions of people could vote and their votes be rendered useless by a dozen. in your "equal" analogy, those that didn't vote made their choice. they remained silent. a decision was made without them. in her scenario millions of votes were ca ...[text shortened]... nning a state with a 51-49 split is the same thing as winning a similar state with a 99-1 split.
The scenario is absurd of course, so it looks like you're the 'dumb' one. NZ has a mixed member proportional system, and while it would in theory take more than 12 voters, given such dumb conditions something like 61 people might be enough elect a prime minister. And you've given no justification why 51% should force their will on the remaining 49%. None. Frankly provided a person is not harming anyone then 99% should not be able to tell him how to live his life.

You're just dumb.

Edit; duchess could have explained herself a little better but the scenario is no less absurd than the ones mentioned by others in this thread.

Making you doubly dumb.
7. Suzianne
Misfit Queen
11 Nov '16 11:291 edit
Originally posted by Duchess64
This post is a reductio ad absurdum of the US electoral college system.
In theory, it's possible for only 12 voters to elect the US President, X.
Let's suppose that only one person votes for X and no one else votes
at all in every one of these following states.

California 55
Texas 38
Florida 29
New York 29
Illinois 20 ...[text shortened]... , X would have won the election.
And the USA would keep showing that it's a model of democracy!
Even if the scenario you describe happened, it still takes 270 electoral college votes to win the election. These votes are placed by electors chosen by the states, and is not a direct popular vote of all of the citizens of the United States of voting age who actually vote. So just like every election year, it only takes 270 electors to elect the US President. The 12 voters in your scenario don't actually elect anybody.

Don't get me wrong, I am in favor of abolishing the Electoral College system in favor of a direct popular vote. This would have eliminated the travesty which happened this year, and return the actual election of the President to the people who actually exercise their Constitutionally-given right to vote, and not eliminate citizen's votes just because a majority of people in their particular state did not vote for the candidate they voted for.
8. Wajoma
Die Cheeseburger
11 Nov '16 12:23
Originally posted by Suzianne
Even if the scenario you describe happened, it still takes 270 electoral college votes to win the election. These votes are placed by electors chosen by the states, and is not a direct popular vote of all of the citizens of the United States of voting age who actually vote. So just like every election year, it only takes 270 electors to elect the US Presi ...[text shortened]... se a majority of people in their particular state did not vote for the candidate they voted for.
Being totally true to this principle then, goobermint should shrink by the same percentage of people that chose not to vote, Only 50% of eligible voters vote? Take a knife to the bureaurats.
9. vivify
rain
11 Nov '16 12:43
"The electoral college is a disaster for democracy."---Donald Trump, 2012.
10. Wajoma
Die Cheeseburger
11 Nov '16 12:531 edit
Vivify,

11. 11 Nov '16 15:34
Originally posted by Wajoma
Vivify,

I think his point is that Donald Trump said in 2012 that Donald Trump shouldn't become president in 2017.
12. 11 Nov '16 15:541 edit
In the US, it goes back to the formation of the union and the deal-making that was needed to get the less populated colonies to agree to enter into it. That's my understanding, anyway. But it has become ridiculous.

While I am in favor of basing the election on nationwide popular vote, from a practical POV, if election to office was based on nationwide popular vote total, the candidates would campaign differently. We can't really say who would have been elected in that scenario.
13. 11 Nov '16 16:31
Originally posted by JS357
In the US, it goes back to the formation of the union and the deal-making that was needed to get the less populated colonies to agree to enter into it. That's my understanding, anyway. But it has become ridiculous.

While I am in favor of basing the election on nationwide popular vote, from a practical POV, if election to office was based on nationwide popul ...[text shortened]... es would campaign differently. We can't really say who would have been elected in that scenario.
nevermind who won, that's another horror story.

this one is about how stupid this electoral system is. no upsides, only downsides.

"the candidates would campaign differently"
and that would be a good thing. you don't get to pander to north carolina or ohio or other swing states. you get to be the president of the united states, you should campaign on issues that affect all.

has any US candidate (ever) been to Hawaii in their campaign? i am curious.
14. 11 Nov '16 18:24
The electoral college encourages candidates to leave urban areas and campaign in all areas of the country. It is not ridiculous for the president of the United States to need support in all different areas of the country and not just get overwhelming support in populous states.
15. 11 Nov '16 18:35
Originally posted by quackquack
The electoral college encourages candidates to leave urban areas and campaign in all areas of the country. It is not ridiculous for the president of the United States to need support in all different areas of the country and not just get overwhelming support in populous states.
"The electoral college encourages candidates to leave urban areas and campaign in all areas of the country. "
no it doesn't. what republican will spend time campaigning in texas for more than 2 minutes? i ask again, did anyone bother to campaign in hawaii? ever? the state is 6 hours behind washington, at 6 pm in hawaii it is midnight in Washington and most of the time the president has already been decided. do you believe this system is good that it doesn't even wait for a whole state to vote?

"It is not ridiculous for the president of the United States to need support in all different areas of the country and not just get overwhelming support in populous states."
it is however ridiculous to suggest the electoral system accomplishes this, even in the slightest degree