National Popular Vote Would End States' Role in Elections for President

By:  Ann Shibler
National Popular Vote Would End States' Role in Elections for President

On May 12 former Senator Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) was named a co-champion of the National Popular Vote (NPV) campaign to replace the historic, constitutional role of the states and electoral college in presidential elections with a purely democratic national popular vote.

There’s a new wrinkle in the old game of manipulating the outcome of elections: A single organization is behind a massive, well-orchestrated lobbying effort in virtually every state to restructure presidential election procedures. The wealthy California-based National Popular Vote (NPV) group is bent on reforming the way Americans have elected their president via the requirements contained in the Constitution by hijacking the Electoral College in a way that perverts its original purpose of allocating electoral votes to states based on their population rather than disregarding the states and basing the winner on the purely democratic national popular vote.

While NPV and its marketing line may sound good, their movement to have individual states enter into an interstate compact regarding how presidential elections are decided would make a fundamental change in the role of the Electoral College without the necessity of a formal amendment to the Constitution with its requirement of 38 states for ratification. The NPV plan would allow as few as 18 states entered into the compact to effect the changeover for the entire nation, because these 18 states currently have the 270 electoral votes which would constitute a majority in presidential elections. Once this compact has member states with 270 or more electoral votes, then a majority of electoral votes cast in an election would automatically go to the winner of the national popular vote, thus eliminating the role of state vote totals.

For example (assuming your state joins the NPV compact), if Candidate P won in your home state, but Candidate O won the nation’s popular vote, all of your home state’s electoral votes would then be awarded to Candidate O. And, once enough states to constitute a majority of electoral votes would join the NPV compact, then even if your state had not joined the compact, your vote’s only impact would be as part of the national popular vote. Your state’s electoral votes could have no impact because those states with a majority of the electoral votes would have already committed the nation to awarding the presidency to the winner of the national popular vote. This would amount to a large step towards a pure democracy, which the Founding Fathers took great pains to protect us from, and a drastic reduction in the role of the states and the Electoral College as originally intended by the Founders.

The NPV system, endorsed by Common Cause (think George Soros), League of Women Voters, and FairVote, along with several liberal newspapers like the New York Times, is another nail in the coffin of our Constitutional Republic, giving the upper hand for deciding elections to large costal states with big populations, a boon to liberals and tyrants because it makes electioneering so much easier. This method would silence the voices of the electorate in many states by transferring, in a very socialistic style, their presidential votes from one to another not of their choosing.

So far seven states and the District of Columbia, representing 77 electoral votes (29% of the 270 electoral votes needed for a majority) have joined the NPV compact of states.

The NPV promoters are so good at what they do that they have managed to have identically worded bills introduced simultaneously in over 30 state legislatures. In 2011 two states have already defeated their NPV bills, two states want to study the matter further, and 28 states have active legislation.

Currently in the state of New York, there are three NPV bills, one in the Assembly and two in the Senate. Bill A00489 in the lower house has had its third reading and has a remarkable 82 sponsors, well over half of the 150-member total. S0182 in the upper chamber has had the enactment clause stricken; this has only one sponsor, and the bill was recommitted. The second NPV proposal in the state Senate, S04208, has 2 sponsors and is sitting in the elections committee. Contact your New York State representatives in both chambers and alert them to the dangers of changing the electoral process as it now stands.

Currently in California, AB459, the National Popular Vote legislation has been re-referred to an appropriations committee and is ordered to have its third and final reading. This bill has 16 cosponsors in both the California assembly and senate.  Contact your California state legislators and insist your voice and vote be counted; insist they leave the presidential election process untouched.

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