Transforming the Electoral College to a National Popular Vote Electing the President of the United States

February 3, 2020


If you fancied Al Gore over George Bush, or Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, you will love attempts to transform the Electoral College into a popular vote mechanism, faithless electors, and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. 

The left is presenting alternative ways to circumvent the Electoral College because it would require a 2/3rds vote in both Houses to change how the President of the United States is elected. 

America’s Founders were concerned with the prospect that large population states would control presidential elections. In 1787 they created the Electoral College as an inter-state remedy which requires a successful candidate to get support from a broad coalition of states across the country. Electoral College members are chosen every 4 years by their state party. Most states have laws compelling electors to vote for the pledged candidate.

The number of Electoral College votes for each state is determined by adding the number of Senators (2) and the state's number in Congress. Congressional districts are determined by population numbers in the census, every ten years. A citizenship question has been on and off the census form over decades. President Trump wanted it on the 2020 census, but the left kept it off. 

The total number of people (citizens or not) living in a district determines the number of congressional seats. The more congressional seats, the more electoral college votes a state is awarded. The most populous state is California with 55. Vermont has 3. Of the 538 electoral votes, 270 are needed to win the presidency. 

 A ‘faithless elector’ is one who does not vote for the candidate that won the popular vote in their state, but switches to someone else. After the 2016 election, electors who tried to switch votes in Washington and in Colorado were subject to legal repercussions. Washington State Court ruled that a state could fine a faithless elector. In Colorado, the court ruled that the Elector has the right to vote any way they want. Both cases were appealed and will be heard by the Supreme Court. The Supremes will decide whether electors must vote for the candidate that received the popular vote in their state. That decision is anticipated before June 2020. 

Another way to render the Electoral College invalid is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). States enrolled in NPVIC must award their electoral college votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote, disregarding in-state voters. For example: If you live in New Mexico and vote for Donald Trump, and Donald Trump wins the popular vote in New Mexico, and Hillary Clinton wins the national popular vote, then New Mexico must cast all of its electoral votes for Hillary, not Donald. As of January 2020, NPVIC has been adopted by 15 states and has 196 electoral votes.  It needs 270 votes to take effect. No Republican governor has signed the NPVIC into law.

California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts could determine every presidential outcome if NPVIC becomes law. The other 45 states would be powerless. If NPVIC had been in effect, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton would have become president. 

Each of the Democratic Presidential Candidates is in favor of a “Popular Vote” system. President Trump would be re-elected in an across the country vote. Leftists want the population centers of big cities to determine who is President. Could the Electoral College be in danger? Be certain the left is working to accomplish such a goal.

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Jay
I think Darlene makes her point the method for choosing the President is under "threat" of the ""tyranny of the Majority". However, I hope she will stimulate precisely this discussion of the applicability of the Electoral system to elect the President. N.B., I am (I think) a liberal Conservative. That is, I am interested in the arguments - persuade me! I asked to learn How did the the Electoral College came about? I found a link to the "History News Network" .org Article 164670 (apparently I cannot offer a link) After you have read both - please let us know what you think!
Alan
Thanks Darlene. Very good explanation. Best, Alan L.
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The internationally published writer is a former English teacher, stockbroker, and owner/president of a small corporation.  She is active with Republican Women Federated, The Coachella Valley Lincoln Club, The California Republican Party, and Armed Services YMCA- 29 Palms Marine Base.  She can be reached at  darlenecasella@msn.com