Who Really Won?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Don't It Turn Your Blue State Red?

In his early 20’s, John R. Koza and fellow graduate students invented a brutally complicated board game based on the Electoral College that became a brief cult hit and recently fetched $100 for an antique version on eBay.

By his 30’s, Dr. Koza was a co-inventor of the scratch-off lottery ticket and found it one of the few sure ways to find fortune with the lottery.

Now, a 63-year-old eminence among computer scientists who teaches genetic programming at Stanford, Dr. Koza has decided to top off things with an end run on the Constitution. He has concocted a plan for states to skirt the Electoral College system legally to insure the election of whichever presidential candidate receives the most votes nationwide.

“When people complain that it’s an end run,” Dr. Koza said, “I just tell them, ‘Hey, an end run is a legal play in football.’ ’’

The first fruit of his effort, a bill approved by the California legislature that would allocate the state’s 55 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, sits on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. The governor has to decide by Sept. 30 whether to sign it, a decision that may well determine whether Dr. Koza’s scheme takes flight or becomes another relic in the history of efforts to kill the Electoral College.

“It would be a major development if California enacts this thing,” said Tim Storey, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It will definitely transform it from a smoldering thing into a fire.’’

Don't see why Republicans wouldn't support this in California. All those EC votes would have shifted from Kerry to Bush last time, giving him such a landslide in the EC that he wouldn't have needed to suppress votes in Ohio and elsewhere...