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This proposal is substantially similar to other measures which we have introduced individually in the past. However, none of us claim pride of authorship since this is much the same resolution as the so-called “Lodge-Gossett Amendment", which this subcommittee has examined exhaustively on many occasions. With each successive examination, I have become more convinced that this is the best possible answer to a great constitutional issue.

Our proposal will accomplish a number of reforms while avoiding the pitfalls inherent in each of the other resolutions that have been introduced.

First, we would abolish the electoral college which has been a useless appendage to our governmental institutions since the rise of political parties. Legally, the elector still stands where the Constitution placed him: an officer in whom rests the awesome discretion as to who shall lead the most powerful nation in the world. In many States, however, the elector is nothing more or less than the recipient of an empty honor gratefully given for long and faithful service to a political party. But whatever the qualifications of the electors, few of us now believe that any man or any few hundred men, no matter how wise or faithful, should be entrusted to make our greatest decision. We, therefore, assume that they are under a moral obligation to vote for their party's nominees. But ours is a Nation of written laws and not of moral imperatives, and the language of the Constitution should be made to conform to what the overwhelming majority of citizens know is correct.

Second, we would also abolish the unit-rule system of counting electoral votes. This system, which completely disfranchises those who did not vote for the winner within their state, is indefensible. It requires candidates to concentrate on the large, pivotal States where elections are historically closely contested to the exclusion of smaller states and one-party states. It encourages the formation of third parties and of bloc-voting since a small group can often determine the course of the entire electoral vote of a large state. This is precisely the same unit-rule system which many found invidious in Georgia. I personally feel that Georgians are perfectly capable of deciding what is best for themselves, but it is for us to propose what we think is best for the country. In a case challenging Georgia's unit-rule, the courts found that the system was a denial of equal protection of laws. Certainly those who hailed that decision should support this amendment. Since it provides that electoral votes would be cast in proportion to the popular vote in each state, every man would have a voice in the election, and candidates would solicit the vote of every man in every State.

In 1956, the late President Kennedy led the eloquent and successful Senate opposition to an earlier version of this Amendment. At that time, he frankly admitted our present system forces candidates to look to the large States in drafting platforms, nominating candidates, and running campaigns. It was his thesis that urban interests are justified in having this power because State legislatures and the National House of Representatives were, allegedly, through gerrymander. ing, far overbalanced in favor of rural interests. Whatever the validity of this argument may have been in 1956, “one man, one vote” is clearly the law of the land today, and population is the only constitutionally permissible consideration

State may use in drawing districts for either house of its own Legislature or for the seats of its congressional delegation. Since the objection that was raised in 1956 is no longer valid, I would trust and hope that those who embraced it then will join us now.

Third, our resolution proposes that if no candidate receives 40 per cent of the total electoral votes, the election wouid be decided by the Senate and House in joint session, with each Senator and Representative having one vote. This would eliminate the undemucratic and unfair method according to which each State delegation-no matter how large or small the State may be-would have one vote in elections thrown into the House. By the reduction of the percentage of electoral votes required for election, we would also reduce the threat of elections being decided by Congress lastead of the people and the threat of multiple parties.

Before concluding, I would like to mention three other proposals which have received serious consideration aver the years. One of the most appealing, on its face, and the one closest to i urs in principle is the direct election approach. Except to say that our amendment has the advantage of preserving the identity of the States in the Presidential electoral process, I will not discuss the merits of direct election, because, frankly, I believe there is no chance of ratification. The legislatures of three-fourths of the States are not going to vote away the added advantage of the two additional electoral votes granted them by reason of senatorial representation shich benefit the great majority of States.


The district method, by which it is proposed that one electoral vote be given to each congressional district and two to the State at large is preferable to the present system, but it has two defects. First, gerrymandering-which is in the ancient, if not honorable, American political tradition-could be used to thwart the will of the majority. Second, the votes of those not voting for the winner in a particular district would still not be registered in an election.

The administration has suggested another alternative, one which would abolish the electoral college and change the method of selection when no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, but one which leaves the unit-rule system intact and untouched. It is this latter inequity-ignored by the administration-which is the most important and whose evils we must face every 4 years. This proposal, if ratified, may never have a bearing on any election. Indeed, it is hardly worth cranking up the complex and protracted amendment process to accomplish so little—it would be almost like chasing a fly with an elephant gun.

It may well be that there is much that can be done to improve our proposal in style, in language, or in procedure; and with the same energy and dedication which the chairman and other members devoted to the amendment providing for Vice Presidential vacancy and Presidential disability, I know we can and will be successful in eliminating any minor problems. I am convinced, however, that Senate Joint Resolution 138 is the soundest approach and has the best chance of ratification. I hope this is the one which we will report to the full committee.

Mr. Chairman, I request that an editorial entitled "Reform the Electoral (Col. lege” from the January 23, 1966 edition of the New York Times be printed at this point in the record of hearings.

Senator HRUSKA. May I suggest that any other members of the subcommittee may, at a later time, file such statement as they wish at this point in the record? (See p. 948.)

Senator Bayh. That is very appropriate. I would like to point out that the first 4 days of hearings we are going to confine our testimony to our colleagues in the Congress, starting off the first day of the second week with testimony from the distinguished Attorney General of the United States and then covering a wide spectrum of witnesses, not only including Members of Congress, but educators on the subject, trying to get as broad a picture of the suggestions and the possible ways of attacking the problem which we begin to study here today. We will ask our colleague, the distinguished Senator from Florida, to join us.

Senator Holland, as the father of an extremely important constitutional amendment, the last one of which has been adopted by our Congress and our States, it is an honor to have you as our leadoff witness here.

I must say as a junior member of this body and as one who is a newcomer to the responsibility of following legislation through the subcommittee and through the Congress, I owe you a debt of gratitude, sir, for your advice and counsel as to the way we should proceed. Although in this effort to try to follow in your footsteps, I find that the tracks you leave are pretty broad.



Senator HOLLAND. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, those are very complimentray words and I appreciate them.

I have long had the view that the electoral system has been long overdue for a substantial overhaul.

I participated rather actively in 1.950 in the argument on the Senate floor when the so-called Lodge-Gossett amendment was considered by the Senate and was passed by the Senate by more than two-thirds vote,


though it failed of such passage and consideration in the other body

My views have become increasingly strong to the effect that I think the need for substantial rewriting of the provisions of the Constitution covering the election of President and Vice President is needed greatly and for that reason I have proposed the resolution that I filed on Saturday. I had hoped that someone else would offer a resolution so closely in line with my own thinking that I could support it and would not be in a position of having offered my own views in the form of suggested Senate joint resolution. When that proved not to have taken place I decided I had better file my own resolution, which I did, and I am glad to have this opportunity to speak on this subject matter.

May I say that I do not think any of us have any pride of authorship. We all realize that there is a tremendous challenge and a tremendous need for change. We all agree, I think, that the administration requests are sound, the only difference being as to whether they go far enough. My own position is strongly to the effect that they do not go far enough and it is only for that reason that I have offered the Senate joint resolution which I did offer on Saturday.

Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I appreciate this opportunity afforded me to testify relative to Senate Joint Resolution 58, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to the election of the President and Vice President. On February 26, 1966, last Saturday, I introduced a proposed amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 139, which will considerably enlarge the scope of reform which Senate Joint Resolution 58 proposes regarding the election of the President and Vice President. As the committee knows, Senate Joint Resolution 58 is the proposal of the administration, as offered by the distinguished chairman of this subcommittee, and my own feel. ing relative to it is that it does not go far enough and that if adopted it would present a handicap--maybe an intolerable one for further reform. Believing that, I have offered Senate Joint Resolution 139.

I endorse the sentiments expressed by President Johnson in his special message to Congress on January 20, 1966, that there is a great need to reform the electoral college system. He suggested several die fects that should be rectified. Senate Joint Resolution 58 achieves the President's objectives by: (1) Abolishing the electoral college as it is now constituted, thereby making it impossible for unpledged electors to manipulate their votes in a close presidential race to block the election of a major candidate in order to throw the election into the House of Representatives. The resolution substitutes a plan whereby a voter by one ballot casts his vote for President and his vote for Vice President. Then, the electoral votes to which a State is entitled shall be cast for the persons in the election in that State who receive the greatest number of votes for President and Vice President respectively;

(2) The administration proposed abolishing the established procedure for the House of Representatives to elect a President, by State votes, when no one individual receives a majority of the whole electoral vote;

(3) For the Senate to elect a Vice President when no one individual receives a majority of the whole electoral vote cast and substitute therefore a plan whereby the combined membership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, sitting in joint session, each voting individually, shall select a President or a Vice President, when neither has received a majority of the whole number of electoral votes, from the persons, not exceeding three, having the highest number of electoral votes for such office, and the person receiving the greatest number of votes shall be chosen; and

(4) Giving Congress power to provide for the case of death of any of the persons from whom the Senate and House of Representatives may choose a President or a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of death of both the presidential and vice presidential candidate, who, except for their death, would have become entitled to become President and Vice President.

If I may advert for a moment at this point, to the third change accomplished by the administration proposal, I must say that I think it is highly preferable to the present provision in the Constitution under which, in the House, the vote would be by States; that is, the greatest State with the largest number of representatives would have the same vote as the smallest State with the smallest number of representatives, under which, likewise, the two bodies frequently differently constituted and differently controlled as to their party affiliations would make separate places, one of the President and the other of the Vice President.

I think that there is nothing realistic about that approach at all as embraced in the present Constitution, because I think it might easily result in the selection of a Vice President who would be of a different party and a different philosophy than the President who was selected. So I do approve rather strongly the proposal insofar as I have gone in my statement up to this point, though I do not approve the part in that proposal in the administration resolution which would bring about that result in the event no one receives a majority of the vote. Because I think that we are clearly going to have more and more third parties, splinter parties and there is no need whatever for requiring that the action of the Congress replaces the action of the people, if only a slight failure to attain a majority of the electoral vote shall have been suffered by the leading candidates, and I much prefer the provisions of the Lodge-Gossett bill or some similar provisions under which a smaller percentage than a majority would permit of the election by the nearest approach of the vote of the people that would have at this time or would have if this reform took place, which would be the electoral vote.

I might add also, that I think that in order to be realistic we must realize that there must be every reason to expect that the smaller States who are, after all, much in the majority, would never approve the amendment offered by the administration in its present form, because it gives up one substantial advantage which the smaller States now have in providing for the vote by States in the House of Representatives for the President in the event, under the Constitution, the vote should come into the House. I think there has to be something offered in this whole program that would offset that manifest depravation of present power and authority and representation by the smaller States and the people of the smaller States in order to have any hope whatever of the adoption of this resolution or the ratification by the States, and I am sure we are all not doing shadow boxing. We are hoping that the resolution as proposed would have ratification by the States.

Speaking only for myself, unless there is some departure from that provision of the administration, I should very strongly oppose ratification in my own State and any other States where I might be heard, because I think it is such a very great departure from the democratic philosophy which has animated us since the founding of the Republic.

Senator Bayh. May I interrupt, Senator?
Senator HOLLAND. Interrupt at any time.

Senator Bayu. I prefer to let you finish your statement, and then ask questions, however, I want to clarify here, if I may. You are directing your opposition toward that part of the administration proposal which deals with the eventuality that no candidate receives a majority and the election is then thrown into the House and Senate? This is the part that you are opposed to, because you feel it takes the power away from the smaller States and it would be difficult to get it ratified?

Senator HOLLAND. I am against that both in principle and for practical reasons. I am against it in principle because I think it is too great a change, and I am against it for practical purposes because I think it vould doom the resolution to defeat when submitted to the States.

I can't understand, to save my life, why a State like Delaware, which is a very forward-looking State, or Rhode Island or Vermont or any other of the smaller States would give up its present rights to have its delegation in the House, whether one or 40 or 50 of equal weight with a delegation of the larger—of the larger States—unless there is some concession made that would allow, on the face of it, what would be a fair degree of change otherwise. I think it would be a hope

а. less task to engage in an effort for ratification, with a constitutional amendment as now proposed by the administration, throw the matter into Congress when any candidate does not attain a majority of the electoral votes, for the reason that I have stated.

I digressed from my prepared statement to make that very clear because while I am supporting the Presidential—the administration request insofar as it goes, I would not support it if it stopped at the position where it ends as at present. Because I think that for the two reasons I have stated, both philosophical reasons, it would be completely unacceptable to me as one American, but I think above and beyond that it would be completely unacceptable to the greater majority of the smaller States. My State is not one of the smaller States. I think we are the ninth in population among the States now, but I could not conceive of the people of my State as represented by a legislature ratifying that amendment, if the administration provision, as embraced in the present resolution, stopped there, which would throw the election of President and Vice President into the Congress, in the event that no candidate attained a majority of the electoral vote.

Senator Hruska. Would the Senator yield? The Lodge-Gossett plan which did receive the approval of the Senate in 1950 retained that feature, did it not, of one vote per State in that kind of a situation?

Senator HOLLAND. Yes; but on that, I am willing to yield, so far as I am concerned, and I think many of the States would be willing to yield, in the event that the other change proposed by the LodgeGossett plan were made. There are more than two differences between

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