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Disabling the Electoral College before 2012 Election?


National Public Vote Compact, NPVC, is the method. The Presidency is the prize.

What a challenging debate Americans are having! The National Popular Vote Compact, NPVC, is the talk of state capitals from Columbus, OH, to Albany, NY, to Austin, TX. Our state legislators are casting critical votes to change our electoral process and, of course, we the people have an important voice in it all.

No wonder we insist on being highly engaged in this decision. From American history we know our electoral system was designed by the Founding Fathers to insure the most careful balance possible of votes and voices for America’s Presidential elections, to protect minority rights while recognizing and empowering the majority.

We are well aware that state by state adoption of the NPVC, also known as the National Popular Vote, NPV, would change the founders’ design for our Constitutional Republic and could circumvent those minority protections from what Alexander Hamilton called the possibility of oppression by the majority. Oh, the talking and debating…the discussions about Constitutional design…the weighing of the pros and cons… a discussion merited by the enormity of the proposed change.

Whoa! Wait just a minute here! Did you say you haven’t heard these debates? Did you say the NPVC is just meaningless alphabet soup to you? The vigorous debate over a change to this so called “direct vote” or democratic vote” didn’t get your attention?

You should know that your state has probably already adopted NPVC or is in the process of doing so.

Of course you didn’t hear this important debate about NPVC only because there is none. The NPVC, or NPV, is sold as harmless and described as a more democratic electoral method to give each American a direct voice in the election of our president. However, in a legal memorandum, Oct 27, 2011, Heritage concludes that:

Consequently, the NPV[9] scheme proposes an interstate compact in which participating states agree in advance to automatically allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, disregarding the popular vote results in their states or what the relevant legislatures might then desire. The NPV would “put the fate of every presidential election in the hands of the voters in as few as 11 states and thus…give a handful of populous states a controlling majority of the Electoral College,”[10] undermining the protections of the Electoral College.

Passage of this insidious compact is very close because 170 of the required 270 votes are from states already signed on. States where NPV is being considered or is close to passing are more than sufficient to implement the NPVC. Then it will apply to the 2012 election and every one after that so that a candidate can be elected by a few of the most populous regions in the USA. Since this is likely to increase the number of third and even fourth party candidates, one could win as little as 30% or 40% of the popular vote and be awarded the necessary 270 electoral votes. We could see European type elections with so many candidates that none has enough support to govern effectively.

Who exactly would benefit from a change in the electoral college system that has worked effectively for so many elections? Who would want to circumvent our founders’ intentions for the most balanced and representative selection of the president? This has been in progress, on a state by state basis, with stealth and steely determination since 2006. Multiple websites push the “Direct Vote” and “NPV” and “Democratic Vote” to create the impression this is truly popular when, in fact, it is being funded and pushed by those with their own political agenda.

The RNC recently voted to condemn this change to our electoral system, but too much damage has been done already. Some conservatives have voted for this and their lack of understanding of the issue is deplorable.

NPVC will bring out the grizzly in many of us who will not stand for deception and the manipulation of our constitutional safeguards. Our first task is to educate ourselves by checking some links here, and then we must alert others. Next, our state representatives must be informed, in no uncertain terms, that we strongly oppose this unconstitutional compact.

Calls, handwritten letters and visits to our state legislators must make it clear that if in process, NPVC must be stopped. If already passed, NPVC must be repealed. If introduced, NPVC must be rejected at once. Any legislator who votes for this does not know the constitution and is not protecting our freedoms.

Also, search on “National Popular Vote” and you will find countless sites advocating this “logical and fair” change to an outdated system. Watch this topic wherever it is posted because immediately someone will post comments insisting the NPVC is a good thing for America. Who is so closely tracking the issue and attacking every negative? Who is so determined NPVC must succeed? What do they have to gain?

In the Federalist Hamilton explains the need to protect the public good and the rights of the minority from the possible oppression by the majority in a “direct democracy” or “popular” vote:

When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed.

Alexander Hamilton; Federalist Papers # 68

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Comments

8 Responses to “Disabling the Electoral College before 2012 Election?”
  1. kohler says:

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, will not reach out to about 76% 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 the current 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. 9 of the original 13 states are considered “fly-over” now. In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree already, that, at most, only 12 states and their voters will matter. They will decide the election. None of the 10 most rural states will matter, as usual. About 76% of the country will be ignored –including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states. In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

    More than 2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to presidential elections. That’s more than 85 million voters ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

    Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation’s 56 (1 in 14 = 7%) presidential elections. The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.

    With the current state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, winning a bare plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population, could win the Presidency with a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.

  2. kohler says:

    In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole.

    In a new Gallup poll, support for a national popular vote by political affiliation is now:
    53% among Republicans, 61% among Independents, and 71% among Democrats.

    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 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: 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 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

  3. kohler says:

    With the current system of electing the President, no state requires that a presidential candidate receive anything more than the most popular votes in order to receive all of the state’s electoral votes.

    Not a single legislative bill has been introduced in any state legislature in recent decades (among the more than 100,000 bills that are introduced in every two-year period by the nation’s 7,300 state legislators) proposing to change the existing universal practice of the states to award electoral votes to the candidate who receives a plurality (as opposed to absolute majority) of the votes (statewide or district-wide). There is no evidence of any public sentiment in favor of imposing such a requirement.

    Since 1824 there have been 16 presidential elections in which a candidate was elected or reelected without gaining a majority of the popular vote.– including Lincoln (1860), Wilson (1912, and 1916), Truman (1948), Kennedy (1960), Nixon (1968), and Clinton (1992 and 1996).

    If an Electoral College type of arrangement were essential for avoiding a proliferation of candidates and people being elected with low percentages of the vote, we should see evidence of these conjectured apocalyptic outcomes in elections that do not employ such an arrangement. In elections in which the winner is the candidate receiving the most votes throughout the entire jurisdiction served by that office, historical evidence shows that there is no massive proliferation of third-party candidates and candidates do not win with small percentages. For example, in 905 elections for governor in the last 60 years, the winning candidate received more than 50% of the vote in over 91% of the elections. The winning candidate received more than 45% of the vote in 98% of the elections. The winning candidate received more than 40% of the vote in 99% of the elections. No winning candidate received less than 35% of the popular vote.

  4. kohler says:

    A survey of 800 Florida voters conducted on January 9-10, 2009 showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 88% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among others.

    By gender, support for a national popular vote was 88% among women and 69% among men.

    By age, support for a national popular vote was 79% among 18-29 year olds, 78% among 30-45 year olds, 76% among 46-65 year olds, and 80% for those older than 65.

    NationalPopularVote

  5. kohler says:

    The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state.

    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 presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– “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.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state 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.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

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

    As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

  6. BARBARALYNN says:

    Koehler, You are everywhere with your paid misinformation. Anywhere there is a comment for the constitution, you ae there to try to deflect criticism.

    You may be well paid, but your posts can be deleted…

  7. Sara Anne says:

    kohler immediately finds sites critical of NPV and blabs irrelevant and dishonest comments. He sounds liked a Daily Kos type blogger or maybe a salon.com type. Perhaps he is a member of some other offshoot of one of the Soros-funded organizations. He is a leftist.

    The fact is that the NPV will transform the electoral college into a meaningless subordinate to the will of the populated states and, in the end, 11 to 13 of the highest populated states will decide the election.

    The less populated states in the compact will be forced to give their electoral votes to the winner of the highly populated states. Sound like a Republic to you?

    It destroys states rights in the Presidential election and it reduces the majority of states to insignificant players in most Presidential elections.

    it violates the Constitution’ s compact clause. Article I and Article V and it violates the 14th Amendment. It does an end-run around our Constitution.

    The NPV movement is funded by a son of Soros and the proponents use a deceitful sound bite that it will give each vote the true power of the one vote and each vote will count. They leave out the part of the equation that transforms them into electoral votes which mandate that these votes be subjugated to the will of heavily populated states like NY and Cali.

    Kohler is not a legitimate blogger!

  8. BARBARALYNN says:

    Sara Anne,

    He is certainly not a legitimate blogger. He is a paid opeative and shows up wherever the NPV is opposed.

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