Left Advances Effort to End Electoral College Role in Presidential Elections

Left Advances Effort to End Electoral College Role in Presidential Elections

The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.” —Lord Acton

Another day, another report of far lefties stealthily trying their darnedest to rig our electoral system and usher in permanent progressivism, our Constitution be damned. This time it’s in the form of eliminating the role of the Electoral College, established by our Founding Fathers during the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Last week I read with a skeptical grain of salt a story from Mr. “Romney Will Win By a Landslide” Dick Morris about the Left’s quiet attempt at circumventing our Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College’s role in presidential elections, replaced with a popular vote model. My gut reaction was that ol’ Morris was grandstanding. Seems it’s true. Under the National Popular Vote Compact model, each of our fifty states would award its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote, rather than to the candidate who wins the state’s vote. The effort has been quietly snaking its way through many state governments. The compact needs 270 votes in order to take effect, and has already gained the signatures of governors in Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Rhode Island, and Washington. New York’s Governor Cuomo recently pledged his states’ 29 electoral votes in support of the measure, bringing the total votes to date to 165. It has also gained approval by at least one legislative body in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon. And—here’s a shocker—the District of Columbia, with three electoral votes, has also signed the agreement.

Notice any obvious similarities with this particular group of states? Morris points out that “all of those ratifying voted for Mr. Obama, as did eight of the 10 one-house states.” The movement is being pushed by the Center for Voting and Democracy, an election group partly funded by none other than George Soros.

Current Electoral College Map
Current Electoral College Map (click to enlarge)

But it’s not only conservatives, who’ve also been oft accused of attempting to rig the system in their favor, sounding the alarm. Liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz is against this obvious run-around our Constitution. Rather than the regular amending process requiring two-thirds majority of each house of Congress and three-quarters of the states, this proposal would take effect if and when a simple majority approves it.

“…the compact ‘certainly violates the spirit of the Constitution. Plainly, the founders of the Constitution did not intend for there to be a conspiracy among certain states to essentially abolish the Electoral College…The amendment probably would not succeed, but to use this method of circumvention, it seems to me would encourage other states to use other methods of circumventing the Constitution when it came to racial equality or other things,’ Dershowitz said.

And though former Michigan Representative Pete Hoekstra, a Republican, says it’s a discussion worth having, circumventing our Constitution, and the voices of the governed, is not the way to do it.

“‘It’s a serious discussion. It’s a debate worth having. If we’re going to change it, let’s do it the appropriate way: Get the super-majority votes in Congress, have the states ratify it, have a national debate.’”

It conjures up the secrecy of ObamaCare. If it’s such a grand idea, why the cloak and dagger treatment?

While the National Popular Vote Compact faces an uphill battle to collect the 270 votes it needs for implementation, I’m firmly in the Watch Them With An Eagle Eye camp. Given that we have one of the most irresponsible, disinformation-spreading media in recent history, we cannot count on them to keep us informed and outline honestly the dangerous ramifications of this proposal: Permanently altering our electoral system, rigging a centuries-old model in favor of Democrats whose base voters heavily populate cities and urban centers, forever silencing the voices of rural communities and less-populated states. With a complacent, distracted voting populace, hand-in-hand with the complicit media, this slap-in-the-face to our Founders might just have a fighting chance of being implemented, under the radar, bringing with it the guarantee of rampant voter fraud on behalf of forced progressivism. While a popular vote model may seem harmless on its surface, these three words are all we need to convince us that this “tyranny of the majority” is a very, very bad idea: President Al Gore.

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  • Piroko says:

    Why oppose it?

    If the only way things are going to level out is for the system to come flying apart anyway, why not run this mother into the ground nose first?

    The second they pull it off it’ll trigger a secession crisis.

    • kohler says:

      In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

      Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls
      in recent or past closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA –75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%;
      in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%;
      in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and
      in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.
      Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

      The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, and large states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


  • Xavier says:

    What Piroko said. Let’s roll.

    I swear if there was air on the moon I’d move there in a minute just to be rid of these insane control freak socialists. They deserve to live in the world they’re trying to create.

  • GWB says:

    Isn’t there something in the Constitution…. hmmm…. here it is:

    Section 10
    No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation….

    Doesn’t that pretty much preclude this little exercise in constitutional skulduggery?

    • kohler says:

      Article I-Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution specifically permits states to enter interstate compacts. In fact, there are hundreds of major compacts currently in force (and thousands of minor ones).

  • kohler says:

    On February 12, 2014, the Oklahoma Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 28–18 margin.

    Oklahoma (with 7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).

    A survey of Oklahoma voters showed strong overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    Voters were asked “How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current Electoral College system?”

    By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 79% among Republicans, 84% among Democrats, and 75% among others.

    By gender, support was 84% among women and 69% among men.

    By age, support was 84% among 18-29 year olds, 70% among 30-45 year olds, 75% among 46-65 year olds, and 82% for those older than 65.


    • GWB says:

      So? Why should I care what the majority wants? We are not a democracy. The Constitution is a bringing together of sovereign States. The States elect the President. The people vote to determine how their State will vote.

      The progressives push for this because they want the ability to sway dense populations (urban blue areas) and ignore the rest of the country. They can only partly accomplish that now as there are too many states that just won’t turn blue (IOW, they don’t have a dense enough urban population with its unique pathologies that can vote to overcome the will of the rest of the state).

      What your polls show is that the people polled are incredibly ignorant of their country’s history and concept of government. Of course, I expect that after all these years of federal (and progressive) direction of education.

      • kohler says:

        Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government.

        States enacting National Popular Vote replace their state or district winner-take-all laws to guarantee every vote, everywhere, in every election matters to the candidates, is equal and counts, and the candidate with the most votes in the country wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

        The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

        The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

        The indefensible reality is that more than 99% of campaign attention was showered on voters in just ten states in 2012- and that in today’s political climate, the swing states have become increasingly fewer and fixed.

        Where you live should not determine how much, if at all, your vote matters.

        The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, will not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

        Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win.
        10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.
        Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. They decided the election.
        None of the 10 most rural states mattered, as usual.
        About 80% of the country was ignored –including 24 of the 27 lowest population and medium-small states, and 13 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX.

        With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.

        16% of Americans live in rural areas. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

        The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

        Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

        The National Advisory Board of National Popular Vote includes former Congressmen John Buchanan (R–Alabama), Tom Campbell (R–California), and Tom Downey (D–New York), and former Senators Birch Bayh (D–Indiana), David Durenberger (R–Minnesota), and Jake Garn (R–Utah).
        Supporters include former Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA), and
        Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee.
        The Nebraska GOP State Chairman, Mark Fahleson,
        Rich Bolen, a Constitutional scholar, attorney at law, and Republican Party Chairman for Lexington County, South Carolina, who wrote “A Conservative Case for National Popular Vote: Why I support a state-based plan to reform the Electoral College.”

        Some other supporters who wrote forewords to “Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote” include:

        Laura Brod served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010 and was the ranking Republican member of the Tax Committee. She was the Minnesota Public Sector Chair for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and active in the Council of State Governments.

        James Brulte the California Republican Party chairman, who served as Republican Leader of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1996, California State Senator from 1996 to 2004, and Senate Republican leader from 2000 to 2004.

        Ray Haynes served as the National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2000. He served in the California State Senate from 1994 to 2002 and was elected to the Assembly in 1992 and 2002

        Dean Murray was a member of the New York State Assembly. He was a Tea Party organizer before being elected to the Assembly as a Republican, Conservative Party member in February 2010. He was described by Fox News as the first Tea Party candidate elected to office in the United States.

        Thomas L. Pearce served as a Michigan State Representative from 2005–2010 and was appointed Dean of the Republican Caucus. He has led several faith-based initiatives in Lansing.

      • Jodi says:

        What GWB said. ^^^

        I couldn’t care LESS what the majority wants. That’s what democracies do, not us. I think I’ll put my money on the wisdom of the Founders, thank you very much.

  • kohler says:

    National Popular Vote would not eliminate the role of the Electoral College.
    The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ Electoral College votes of the enacting states , and thereby win the presidency.

    The Founding Fathers during the Constitutional Convention in 1787 were unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1:
    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state’s electoral votes.

    The normal way of changing the method of electing the President is not a federal constitutional amendment, but changes in state law.

    Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President have come about by state legislative action. For example, the people had no vote for President in most states in the nation’s first election in 1789. However, now, as a result of changes in the state laws governing the appointment of presidential electors, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states.

    In 1789, only 3 states used the “winner-take-all” system based on the statewide popular vote. Similar laws in other states only became prevalent decades after the deaths of the Founding Fathers. 2 states do not use the system. As a result of changes in state laws, the state winner-take-all method is now currently used by 48 of the 50 states.

    In 1789, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote; however, as a result of changes in state laws, there are now no property requirements for voting in any state.

    In other words, neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

  • kohler says:

    With National Popular Vote, when every popular vote counts equally, successful candidates will find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide mainstream of America. Instead of playing mostly to local concerns in Ohio and Florida, candidates finally would have to form broader platforms for broad national support. Elections wouldn’t be about winning a handful of battleground states.

    Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states. 80% of states and voters are ignored by presidential campaigns.

    State winner-take-all laws negate any simplistic mathematical equations about the relative power of states based on their number of residents per electoral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaigns and to presidents once in office.

    None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.
    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes does not enhance the influence of rural states, because the most rural states are not battleground states, and they are ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

    Support for a national popular vote in rural states: VT–75%, ME–77%, WV–81%, MS–77%, SD–75%, AR–80%, MT–72%, KY–80%, NH–69%, IA–75%,SC–71%, NC–74%, TN–83%, WY–69%, OK–81%, AK–70%, ID–77%, WI–71%, MO–70%, and NE–74%.

    In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

    In 2012, 24 of the nation’s 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions.- including not a single dollar in presidential campaign ad money after Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee on April 11. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

    Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections. Voters in states that are reliably red or blue don’t matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

    Kerry won more electoral votes than Bush (21 versus 19) in the 12 least-populous non-battleground states, despite the fact that Bush won 650,421 popular votes compared to Kerry’s 444,115 votes. The reason is that the red states are redder than the blue states are blue. If the boundaries of the 13 least-populous states had been drawn recently, there would be accusations that they were a Democratic gerrymander.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group. Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE –75%, ID -77%, ME – 77%, MT- 72%, NE – 74%, NH–69%, NE – 72%, NM – 76%, RI – 74%, SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT – 75%, WV- 81%, and WY- 69%.

    Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.


  • kohler says:

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, mischief, coercion, intimidation, confusion, and voter suppression. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

    National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

    The closest popular-vote election count over the last 130+ years of American history (in 1960), had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes. The closest electoral-vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

    For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election–and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.

  • Jodi says:

    This is novelesque. I’m imagining you flitting around all over the InterWebz trying to convince Americans that somehow “Majority Rulz!!!” Because if that were true, we’d be rid of ObamaCare and most of the federal government by now.

  • Kelley Kruse says:

    Majority rules, is democracy. Democracy leads to socialism, which leads to communism. Let’s not forget we live in a republic, a free country.

  • kohler says:

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. The candidate with the most votes would win, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

    The Republic is not in any danger from National Popular Vote.
    National Popular Vote has nothing to do with pure democracy. Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government.

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