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Event Spotlight: Stony Brook to Host Debate over Electoral College System

Set for Thursday afternoon, the event is open to the public.

A debate on Thursday at Stony Brook University will explore the electoral college system the nation currently uses to elect its president every four years.

Key topics of discussion will include: Has the electoral college system outlived its rationale? Should a system based entirely on the popular vote be instituted?

Two teams of panelists will debate the issue, and the audience will determine which side has won the debate via a majority vote. The panelists include:

  • Robert Keeler, a Newsday editorial board member and Pulitzer-winning journalist who has covered local, state and national issues for more than 40 years. 
  • New York State Assemb. Hon. Charles Lavine, D-Glen Cove, who has represented the 13th Assembly District since 2004 and is also a lawyer specializing in criminal defense cases.
  • Jonathan Sanders, an Associate Professor of Journalism at Stony Brook University, who is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning international reporter for CBS News as well as a Fulbright Scholar. 
  • Harry Withers, the former Suffolk County Republican Chairman, former Babylon Town Councilman, and a current Stony Brook University adjunct professor of political science whose interests include public policy and Federalism.

Event information:

Date: Thursday, Nov. 29
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Humanities Building, Room 1006

toto November 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country. The bill changes the way electoral votes are awarded by states in the Electoral College, instead of the current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all system (not mentioned in the Constitution, but since enacted by states). Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in the country would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency. The bill uses the power given to each state in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have been by state legislative action. The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers (including the New York Senate in 2010 and 2011) in 21 states, . The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect. NationalPopularVote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc
toto November 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM
A survey of New York voters showed 79% overall support for a national popular vote for President. By gender, support was 89% among women and 69% among men. By age, support was 60% among 18-29 year olds, 74% among 30-45 year olds, 85% among 46-65 year olds, and 82% for those older than 65. Support was 86% among Democrats, 66% among Republicans, 78% among Independence Party members (representing 8% of respondents), 50% among Conservative Party members (representing 3% of respondents), 100% among Working Families Party members (representing 2% of respondents), and 7% among Others (representing 7% of respondents). NationalPopularVote.com
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