Popular Vote Project Is Against Spirit, Letter of Constitution

By:  Bruce Walker
08/25/2011
       
Popular Vote Project Is Against Spirit, Letter of Constitution

Percolating through the legislatures of many states are bills that would provide that a state's electoral votes would go to whichever presidential candidate receives a majority of the national popular vote, regardless of how well the candidate did in the particular state that passed the bill into law. Called the "Popular Vote Project," such a plan is in direct contravention of both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.

Not only does the Constitution make no mention of the term "popular vote," but such an idea is meaningless within the context of America's founding document. The designation "popular vote” evolved over time as a sort of shorthand to describe the votes cast for presidential electors who had publicly committed to vote in the Electoral College for a particular qualified presidential candidate.

No presidential electors in any state were chosen by voters until 1824. The Constitution says nothing about how presidential electors are chosen by states except that each state legislature shall determine the method of choosing those electors.

Percolating through the legislatures of many states are bills that would provide that a state's electoral votes would go to whichever presidential candidate receives a majority of the national popular vote, regardless of how well the candidate did in the particular state that passed the bill into law. Called the "Popular Vote Project," such a plan is in direct contravention of both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.

Not only does the Constitution make no mention of the term "popular vote," but such an idea is meaningless within the context of America's founding document. The designation "popular vote” evolved over time as a sort of shorthand to describe the votes cast for presidential electors who had publicly committed to vote in the Electoral College for a particular qualified presidential candidate.

No presidential electors in any state were chosen by voters until 1824. The Constitution says nothing about how presidential electors are chosen by states except that each state legislature shall determine the method of choosing those electors.

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