Some Politicians Hope To Change State's Political Map
If passed, this could have a potentially big affect on a presidential election. a candidate who loses the popular vote in California could still walk away with a decent share of the electoral votes -- as many as a winner would get in Illinois or Pennsylvania.
The way the system works now -- a presidential candidate who wins a majority of votes in California will take all of the state's 55 electoral votes.
Because California has been leaning left in recent years that system is good for democratic candidates. But a republican-backed group called Californians for Equal Representation wants to change it, and plans to put an initiative on the June ballot.
Under their plan, a presidential candidate would get two votes for winning California, plus one electoral vote for each congressional district he or she carries.
It's an idea, that had it been in effect three years ago, would have given president bush 22 of the state's electoral votes, and 33 to democrat John Kerry.
Kevin Eckery, Californians for Equal Representation: "More than the whole notion of who's going to win and who's going to lose you have to start out with the idea of you know how do you make sure that people's votes count. I mean that's the sort of number one thing you want to do. I think it's really people looking for a way to make the electoral college work better."
Peter Ragone, Democratic Consultant: "There's no question that we need electoral reform in the United States of America. But we can't do it in just one state."
Peter Ragone is a democratic consultant. He's helping lead the fight against the initiative.
Peter Ragone, Democratic Consultant: "You have to reform the entire election system throughout the country, otherwise it's just a power grab and it's a power grab that's designed to split California's votes and ensure that a Republican gets elected President."
Right now only two states split their electoral votes -- Maine and Nebraska. But they are small states, Nebraska has five, Maine has four.
Emily stoper, a professor emeritus at Cal State East Bay says true reform would have to involve a number of big states, blue -and- red.
Emily Stoper, Ph.D., Cal State University East Bay: "What I would love to see is a situation where, let's say the leading political figures in both California and Texas, Texas being a large Republican state, would agree to do it together. Okay, let's hold hands and jump into the lake together."
Californians for equal representation must collect more than 400,000 signatures in order to get this initiative on the June ballot.
The group says it will start raising money this week. In the meantime, major democratic donors are preparing to fork out some serious cash to defeat it.
- SUV crashes into gas station in Oakland 45 min ago
- Family holds prayer vigil for girl on life support
- Caltrans says Bay Bridge bolt problem fixed
- Two cars gifted in annual East Bay holiday tradition
- San Francisco considers ban on bottled water
- UC proposes plan to prevent deer, car collisions
- abcnews: Justin Bieber says 'I'm Retiring' from music
- Bay Area New Year's Eve fireworks and events
- roundup: Foreclosure program; Plastic water bottle ban
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Thursday
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos