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recommendations, it should be understood that not every member of the Commission subscribes to every recommendation. There was, however, unanimous agreement on the need for substantial reform in the present system.
In this report the Commission submits its recommendations. In addition to setting forth and explaining the recommendations, the report includes a brief history of electoral college developments from 1787 to 1966.
ROBERT G. STOREY,
In messages to the Congress in 1965 and 1966, President Johnson urged adoption of an amendment to the Constitution to reform the electoral college system. The President described several major defects in the system which he said “should be eliminated in order to assure that the people's will shall not be frustrated in the choice of their President and Vice-President." The President urged in his special message of January 20, 1966, that "elimination of these defects in our Constitution is long overdue. Our concepts of self-government and sound government require it.”
Among the defects to which the President referred was the possibility that the constitutional independence of unpledged electors might be exploited and their votes manipulated in a close election to prevent the election of a major candidate and to throw the election of President into the House of Representatives. He referred to the undemocratic procedure of electing a President in the House, under which each state has one vote regardless of population. The President also called attention to the fact that there exists no provision in law covering the case of death of a candidate before the counting of the electoral votes.
To accomplish the objective of electoral reform, various proposals on the subject have been introduced in Congress. Three of the four basic proposals would retain the system of allocating to each state a number of electoral votes equal to the number of Senators and Representatives to which the state is entitled in Congress. The "unit vote” proposal would write into the Constitution the present practice of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who wins the greatest number of popular votes in the state. The “proportional vote” proposal would divide the electoral vote of each state among the candidates in proportion to the division of the popular vote in the state. The “district vote" proposal would divide each state into electoral districts comparable to congressional districts; the winner of the popular plurality within the district would receive that district's electoral vote, and two additional electoral votes would go to the candidate receiving a plurality of the popular vote in the state. Most of these proposals would eliminate the office of presidential elector.