Twenty-Seven Days. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
With a little less than four weeks left until the electoral college casts its votes for President of the United States, it’s hard not to wonder why, for the second time in twenty years, the winner of the popular vote has lost the electoral math. Al Gore received 540,000 more votes that George W. Bush in 2000 and the count of votes for Hillary Rodham CIinton already exceed those for Donald Trump by 2,000,000 and rising.
The electoral college was designed to protect the nation from the will of a capricious and naïve voting public. And while it may sound pretty good at the moment—let’s have a body of cool-minded experts cast the votes on our behalf—it’s the wrong idea for our times. Far from protecting us, it puts our civil liberties in grave danger. Here’s why:
· Every Vote Equal: Electoral college votes are allocated disproportionately, giving heavier weight to the votes of rural states with predominantly white, U.S.-born voters.
· Every Vote in Play: The electoral college focuses the election on a few “swing” states, and that’s where candidates spend all of their time and money.
You probably knew all of that and have wanted to repeal the electoral college for as long as you’ve been able to vote. But here’s what you may not know: We don’t need a Constitutional amendment to rid ourselves of the undemocratic impacts of the electoral college.
Since 2007, ten states and the District of Columbia have voted to enact the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact into law. The National Popular Vote bill pledges states to require their electors to vote for whoever wins the national popular vote instead of the winner of their state popular vote. These states will begin enforcing the bill just as soon as states accounting for 270 electors sign on. To date, the states that have signed the bill add up to 165 electors, and it’s passed one legislative chamber in states with another 96 electoral votes.
While the National Popular Vote bill isn’t a solution for the current election—the compact includes the provision that state’s pledges take effect in the next election after 270 electoral votes are reached—it does point its way towards a message that all electors need to hear: Voting for the winner of the popular vote isn’t immoral or “faithless”. It’s the right thing to do.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Please post a comment below.
@publicgoods #PopularVote #ElectoralCollegeRevolt