Skip to content

National Popular Vote?

November 11, 2009

Watch this video and be formally introduced to National Popular Vote legislation. At this point, you might be agreeing with what you just watched,  but please ask yourself about ramifications regarding such a substantial change in how our Presidential elections work. What follows may entail answers you come up with but it may also present some troubling viewpoints you have yet to explore, viewpoints that will trouble you deeply the more you ponder them.  This legislation undermines our very basic structure of government and the dangers it presents to our liberties and to the Constitution itself are numerous and profound.  The worst part about this situation is that this is already established law here in Illinois. The saddest part is that the vast majority of people who read this will be exposed to it for the very first time.  It is not just our civil liberties being stolen from us, the country itself is at stake and there is no better example of that than this issue right here.

It is fair to say that just about everyone on this planet we call Earth knows what oceans, lakes and rivers are.  Most of humanity has either seen, or will see, one or more of these bodies of water in their lifetime. The same thing can be said about this thing we call government.  Like water, government can take many forms and depending on their quality, each can help life flourish or they can be tools of chaos and destruction.  While the tidal power of these entities ebb and flow, the most dangerous aspects of them both generally go unseen and unrecognized by most.

Rivers swell out of their banks causing untold amounts of carnage. Governments can, and do, operate outside their imposed limitations causing a similar destruction of individual liberties. In the case of an ocean, there are undercurrents, called riptides, that go unnoticed by most people while they go about their daily lives. Most are unaffected by this danger until such time as they go swimming while on vacation.  Only then is the danger realized and all too often it is too late to avoid a tragic happening born out of ignorance.

The Presidential election of 2000 saw something of a riptide come into existence. As a result of that election’s circumstances, some people felt as if George W. Bush was not legitimately elected.  Those with a populist mentality felt that because former President Bush didn’t gain the majority of the nation’s popular vote count,  his election was unjust.  They opined that our system of election failed and must be changed to avoid another outcome such as the one in 2000. To this end,  a movement was sparked to change how Presidents are elected.  This effort is centered around  National Popular Vote legislation.

On it’s face, it seems like something to support. After all, in a democracy, the one with the most votes wins, right?  Well, there is the first giant mistake right there.  We live in Republic where democracy is to function as a check and balance within our form of government – as opposed to democracy being the form of government itself.  Unchecked  majority rule is something that our Framers saw fit to avoid because tyranny of the majority is exactly that – tyranny. This is but one problem posed by the outcome that a national popular vote structure would bring about.

What happens when two opposing sides bring equally valid points of order to the table of debate?  Well, usually, gridlock occurs. What is to be done when one side says that the people must have their vote while another side says that each state is due equal representation. Both sides present true and germane arguments. In order to solve this seemingly insurmountable hurdle when creating the legislative branch of government, our Framers came up with a compromise affording each side what their facts were supporting. Thus was born the House of Representatives and the Senate constituting the legislative branch of government.

For law to be made in a checked and balanced manner, the people, through their elected representatives, must have a voice and so must each state.  The same level headed solution was applied to the question about how to elect a President.  The people are due their representation, their vote, but so too are the states.  The electoral college structure is akin to the legislative structure. This structure is there to be seen all throughout our Republican form of government. This structure is the backbone of America.  Break that backbone and America falls asunder.

Those who argue against the electoral college do not realize that they argue against the basic structure of our entire government.  They argue against a system of checks and balances that has afforded prosperity and liberty never before known in this world.  Well,  maybe some do realize this but they simply refuse to admit that this is what they are doing.  Others go along with the idea because they are unaware of the dangers that doing so presents.  Think back to that unsuspecting person going for a swim for a minute.  They know not what riptide awaits their entry into the water.  Now, please understand that this writing is a warning not unlike a sign at that water’s edge.

It is true that each state decides independently how it’s electoral ballots will be cast. Some states hold elections for those who will cast electoral ballots, some appoint them from within a party or a state may even have individual candidates name them as part of their campaigns.  Recently, New Hampshire almost passed what can be termed “partial apportionment”.  This means that a state government operating such a system would look to how the state’s population as a whole voted and then divide up the state’s ballots based on that breakdown. If a state has 4 votes and 3/4 of the people vote for one particular candidate, then that candidate would get three of the four votes with the remainder going to another candidate.

The National Popular Vote movement seeks to do an end run around these state processes while it claims to be operating within the rules of the federal process as they are.  It tries to bring about a radical change without amending the Constitution.   It seeks to remove the states’ role entirely and elect a President based solely on the popular vote itself.  This would be like deleting the United States’ Senate..  Does anyone think that eliminating the Senate could be accomplished without a Constitutional Amendment?

What would result were this to happen?  Much the same kind of government that Illinois has, that’s what.  The major population center in Illinois,  Chicago,  has a kind of stranglehold control that seemingly cannot even be challenged, much less broken.. There exists a tyranny of the Majority.  Basing the election of a President on a national popular vote alone would see several major population centers elect President after President. Think of it, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and a few others holding the same trump card on the White House as Chicago has on Illinois.  See the riptide yet?  No?  Ok, try this one on for size then.

Several states have already passed law to this end. New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, Illinois and Washington all have laws in place already that enter into practice the instant any combination of states, comprising together more than 50% of the total electoral ballots needed to win election, pass laws of this nature.   Let’s explore what this law actually entails, shall we?

Remember in the video how the goal to have everyone’s vote count was touted?  While ignoring the race card played in that video,  let’s just see how true that claim is.  In Illinois, once the law signed by Blagojevich in early April of 2008 goes into practice,  it is possible that not even one Illinoisan’s vote will actually count.  For example, every person in this state could vote for candidate A but if candidate B wins the national popular vote, then candidate B would gain all of Illinois’ electoral ballots. Yes, you read that correctly, every person in this state could vote one way,  but if the rest of the country votes another way,  then Illinois would go that way in spite of how Illinoisans voted.   So don’t drink the kool-aid being offered by these people who say this is about making every vote count,  this is about political domination by major population centers – and don’t ever forget it.  This effectively nullifies Illinoisans’ voting power and puts Illinois’ electoral ballots in the hands of members of all 50 states.

Undoubtedly, a court challenge of a Constitutional nature will be waged the moment that the final state, whichever one it happens to be,  passes a bill like this into law.  Article one Section ten of the Constitution forbids alliances among the states. What is this if no an alliance among states?

As it stands this day, the fate of  Illinoisan’s voting power rests in the legislatures of other states.  Current Illinois government is responsible for putting in jeopardy not only our right to vote and have it count but also our state sovereignty.  For this, all those there who pushed this nightmare endeavor through should be punished at the voting booth,  before there is no more voting booth to even use toward that end.  Take notice,  folks from both parties support this effort.  This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue.

That Illinois is in this situation should astound everyone with open eyes. If you think there is leg pulling or exaggeration of the situation present,  please feel free to read the language of the legislation yourself.  Absorb what you read and then question it with boldness. You will see how dangerous this legislation really is.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0714

Explore further this dangerous body of water at www.nationalpopularvote.com and then warn friends and strangers alike about the vicious undercurrents that threaten to forever sink the beacon of freedom known as the United States of America.

Advertisements
33 Comments leave one →
  1. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:00 pm

    National Popular Vote did not invent popular elections. Having election results determined by the candidate getting the most individual votes is not some scary, untested idea loaded with unintended consequences. It is a simple matter that your vote should count as much as everyone else’s.

    • November 11, 2009 5:09 pm

      The National Popular Vote movement does create a popular election for the Office of President of the United States. This you can deny if you so choose, but the facts it does not change.

  2. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:02 pm

    Under the current system of electing the President, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. 98% of the 2008 campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided “battleground” states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 “battleground” states. Similarly, in 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
    Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule 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.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

    • November 11, 2009 5:22 pm

      Candidates concentrate their campaigns where they choose. It is not the a system that dictates this choice, for they make this choice themselves on their own volition. You make an attempt to blame an inanimate object for the actions of an individual. This is not uncommon for folks who dismiss personal responsibility.

      People are not spectators, they are voters. In today’s environment of information sharing, if people do not research their candidates, it is their own fault. It is not the fault of any system. There is no “safely ahead or hopelessly behind”. There only exists media reporting of that fantasy.

      I love your winner take all comment, especially the supposed opposition you offer to it. For the national popular vote is exactly that – winner take all. That hypocrisy is astounding and I am glad you posted that comment for all to see.

      What you describe as a shortcoming is actually an intentionally built in check and balance. A small number of population centers should not control a national office such as the Office of President.

      You talk about a small number of states deciding elections. This is more media hyped Kool-aid that far too many have gulped down. All the states together decide the election of a President. Trying to shift it to one or another is pure obfuscation.

      I will ask you directly, would you remove the Senate and see federal law made by unicameral means? That is a yes or no question.

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 5:33 pm

        Equal representation of the states in the U.S. Senate is explicitly established in the U.S. Constitution. This feature of the U.S. Constitution cannot be changed by state law. In fact, it may not even be amended by an ordinary federal constitutional amendment. Instead, this feature of the U.S. Constitution may only be changed by unanimous consent of all 50 states. In contrast, the U.S. Constitution explicitly assigns the power to choose the manner of electing the President to the state legislatures. The adoption by a state legislature of the National Popular Vote bill is an exercise of a legislature’s existing powers under the U.S. Constitution. Such action has no impact or bearing on the constitutional provisions concerning representation in the U.S. Senate.

  3. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:03 pm

    National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a “republican” form of government or is a “democracy.”

    A “republican” form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a “republican” form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as is currently the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as is currently the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).

    If a “republican” form of government means that the presidential electors exercise independent judgment (like the College of Cardinals that elects the Pope), we have had a “democratic” method of electing presidential electors since 1796 (the first contested presidential election). Ever since 1796, presidential candidates have been nominated by a central authority (originally congressional caucuses, and now party conventions) and electors are reliable rubberstamps for the voters of the district or state that elected them.

    • November 11, 2009 5:26 pm

      I am glad you admitted in this post that it takes a Senate in the legislative branch to qualify it as a Republican form of government. This means that you admit bicameral law making is required. That means you admit that the states must have their say just as the people must have their say. The exact same requirement is there in the office of President, whether you choose to see it or not.

  4. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:10 pm

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The Constitution gives every state the power to allocate its electoral votes for president, as well as to change state law on how those votes are awarded.

    The bill is currently endorsed by over 1,659 state legislators (in 48 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    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). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Delaware –75%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, New York — 79%, and Washington — 77%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in 19 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes — 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

    • November 11, 2009 5:30 pm

      I offered a situation in this writing where every person in a state could vote for candidate A yet candidate B gains all the states’ electoral votes because of how the rest of the nation voted. I notice you do not address that happening. Gee, I wonder why.

      Maybe something more than copy and paste is required here, eh?

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 5:38 pm

        Presidential elections are about choosing a person to serve 4 years as President, and not about electing the rubber-stamp presidential electors who meet for 15 minutes in mid-December to predictably vote for their party’s candidate for President.

        The whole point of the National Popular Vote bill is that the state-by-state outcome would no longer determine the Presidency, but, instead, the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states would become President. Under this legislation, the states are agreeing, in advance, to give their combined pool of electoral votes (enough to elect a President) to the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states.

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 5:40 pm

        As an example:

        A survey of 800 Connecticut voters conducted on May14–15, 2009 showed 74% 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?”

        The results of the first question, by political affiliation, was 80% among Democrats, 67% among Republicans, and 71% among others. By gender, support was 81% among women and 66% among men. By age, support was 82% among 18-29 year olds, 69% among 30-45 year olds, 75% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65.

        Then, voters asked a second question that emphasized that Connecticut’s electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, not Connecticut, vote. In this second question, 68% of Connecticut voters favored a national popular vote.

        “Do you think it more important that Connecticut’s electoral votes be cast for the presidential candidate who receives the most popular vote in Connecticut, or is it more important to guarantee that the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states becomes president?”

        The results of the second question, by political affiliation, was 74% among Democrats, 62% among Republicans, and 63% among others. By gender, support was 75% among women and 59% among men. By age, support was 75% among 18-29 year olds, 57% among 30-45 year olds, 68% among 46-65 year olds, and 70% for those older than 65.

        The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 1/2%.

        see http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  5. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:12 pm

    The Founding Fathers said in 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.”

    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 rule) 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, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote.

    In 1789 only three states used the winner-take-all rule.

    There is no valid argument that the winner-take-all rule is entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The winner-take-all rule (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 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 rule.

    As a result of changes in state laws, 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 rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.

    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.

  6. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:16 pm

    States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. All the U.S. Constitution says is “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .”

    The congressional district allocation of electoral votes that is currently used by Maine and Nebraska is not in the U.S. Constitution. No state used that system in 1789.

    The fact that Maine and Nebraska currently award electoral votes by congressional district is a reminder that the Constitution left the matter of awarding electoral votes to the states. A federal constitutional amendment is not needed to change state laws.

    • November 11, 2009 5:32 pm

      A Constitutional amendment is required to allow compacts among the states. That is exactly what this legislation is and it says so quite clearly. What part about that don’t you understand?

  7. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:17 pm

    The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, along district lines (as is currently the case in Maine and Nebraska), or national lines.

    • November 11, 2009 5:36 pm

      National Popular vote legislation places state powers and representation in the hands of other state governments and legislatures, which is why alliances among the states are Constitutionally forbidden in the first place. Like I said, as it stands today, how Illinois electoral ballots will be allocated depends on what other state legislatures do. This is for Illinois to decide, not for other states to decide.

      In effect, the Illinois General Assembly has ceded it’s people’s authority to the legislatures of other states. Such a forfeiture of sovereignty will not stand.

  8. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:17 pm

    The people vote for President now in all 50 states and have done so in most states for 200 years.

    So, the issue raised by the National Popular Vote legislation is not about whether there will be “mob rule” in presidential elections, but whether the “mob” in a handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, get disproportionate attention from presidential candidates, while the “mobs” of the vast majority of states are ignored. 98% of the 2008 campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided “battleground” states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 “battleground” states.

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the “mobs.” There have been 22,000 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 10 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector’s own political party. The electors are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

    • November 11, 2009 5:42 pm

      Mob rule you say? That is exactly what a national popular vote is. The electoral college system is a balancing check on that action just as the Senate is a check on mob rule in the legislature. Without it, there would be mob rul in the House of Representatives. Our Framers knew that this could not stand and it is exactly why they created the Senate. Through this discussion, at least to this point, you have avoided that particular comparison. Why? Do you fear having to address it openly?
      I guess I will see as I continue reading your comments.

      I notice you aren’t talking about how Chicago rules over Illinois or how several large population centers would do the same thing to the country that Chicago does to Illinois. Why is that?

  9. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:18 pm

    When presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as in Ohio and Florida, the big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami certainly did not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida in 2000 and 2004.

    Likewise, under a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

    Another way to look at this is that there are approximately 300 million Americans. 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 is only 19% of the population of the United States. Even if one makes the far-fetched assumption that a candidate could win 100% of the votes in the nation’s top five cities, he would only have won 6% of the national vote.

    Further evidence of the way a nationwide presidential campaign would be run comes from the way that national advertisers conduct nationwide sales campaigns. National advertisers seek out customers in small, medium, and large towns of every small, medium, and large state. National advertisers do not advertise only in big cities. Instead, they go after every single possible customer, regardless of where the customer is located. National advertisers do not write off Indiana or Illinois merely because their competitor has an 8% lead in sales in those states. And, a national advertiser with an 8%-edge over its competitor does not stop trying to make additional sales in Indiana or Illinois merely because they are in the lead.

    • November 11, 2009 5:59 pm

      Big cities do control the outcome. See Chicago. See Blagojevich. Did you know that all but a couple counties in Illinois have passed resolution in support of the Second Amendment. Did you know that Illinois is the only state in the country where no Citizen can exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm? Why is it this way? CHICAGO is why it is this way. You can say all day long that population centers do not hold political control, but saying it doesn’t make it true.

      Every vote is equal, within each state. That is how it has to be. Maybe instead of advocating removing the Senate, you are advocating removing the House. Every vote should be equal, right? All lawmaking should be done through a Senate where each state has equal voting power, right?

      It appears to me that you avoid dealing with the structure of the legislative branch so that you can avoid be exposed as wanting to have your cake and eat it too. This is precisely why I said that folks supporting the National Popular vote undermine the structure of government. Some do so intentionally, some do so without realizing they are doing so. I have to figure out which camp you rest in. Though I will say that your comments are particularly collectivist.

      When was the last time Illinois elected a Governor other than how Chicago and the collar counties voted? You can form statistics to any advantage but history is a far more accurate measure.

      You speak of advertisers going after a particular market. Politicians do the same thing in their campaigns. You decry one and hail the other. Are advertisers bound by a system or do they make a choice? Seems to me like you offer yet another example of trying to have your cake and eat it too.

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 6:11 pm

        For example:

        In California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don’t campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don’t control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn’t have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles.

        If the National Popular Vote bill were to become law, it would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who yielded, for example, the 21% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would still have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 6:19 pm

        In elections, under the National Popular Vote system, every vote is equal and politically relevant., The winner and loser(s) would simply be determined by the greatest number of individual votes, like other elections. Currently we have state-based “gaming” because of state-based winner-take-all laws (not in the Constitution) that “ignores” many voters and votes.

        In 2004, for example, Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins of individual votes were in the following seven non-battleground states:
        * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
        * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
        * Georgia — 544,634 Republican
        * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
        * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
        * California — 1,023,560 Democratic
        * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic

        Only the deciding 1 vote in each of the above states was needed by the current state-based winner-take-all laws of those states to determine the state’s winner. The remaining 5,603,836 voters (2,941,160 Democratic and 2,662,676 Republican) were not politically relevant.

        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). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 votes for Bush in 2004.

  10. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:19 pm

    A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

    Every vote would not be equal under the proportional approach. The proportional approach would perpetuate the inequality of votes among states due to each state’s bonus of two electoral votes. It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

    Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

    • November 11, 2009 6:12 pm

      It matters not if the electoral count accurately reflects the popular vote. The popular vote is not what what elects the President. It never has been. This is intentional obfuscation, you intentionally muddy the waters to create confusion in the minds of people trying to gain their support. Why not seek a constitutional change to afford this election process change? Maybe you would not like to see the state’s rights position argued in the Senate eh? Afraid of that part of the conversation you are.

      Again you speak about the popular vote as if it is what elects a President to try and show how fractional proportion would not be appropriate. All while you talk about votes counting….. I love it. Have you ever heard of such a thing as tyranny of the majority?

      If the majority of the popular vote reflected a desire to institute slavery, would you say that every vote must count equally and that it should be done because the vote said so? How about if the majority of the popular vote supported only allowing land owning men to vote? Every vote must count equally, right? I highly doubt you would advocate such a position. So what would you say stops that from happening? The Constitution stops that, right? When it didn’t, it had to be amended, right? For things to change, the Constitution had to be amended, right? Right.

      State’s rights are a check and balance on the majority. It is what avoids the tyranny of the majority. You are supporting a position of removing that check and balance in one branch of government. This is undermining the very structure of government and creating an imbalance of power. Apparently, you cannot or will not see that.

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 6:21 pm

        There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that needs to be changed in order to have a national popular vote for President. The winner-take-all rule (awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes inside the state) is not in the U.S. Constitution. It is strictly a matter of state law and power. The winner-take-all rule was not the choice of the Founding Fathers, as indicated by the fact that the winner-take-all rule was used by only 3 states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789. The fact that Maine and Nebraska currently award electoral votes by congressional district is another reminder that the Constitution left the matter of awarding electoral votes to the states. All the U.S. Constitution says is “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 states over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.” A federal constitutional amendment is not needed to change state laws.

        See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

      • mvymvy permalink
        November 11, 2009 6:38 pm

        This is about legitimacy. Most Americans believe a candidate for president should care about concerns of voters in the entire country, and win the popular vote of the entire country, and not just in the so-called “swing” states.

        Again, The Founding Fathers said in 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.” State-by-state winner-take-all was not the choice of the Founding Fathers, as indicated by the fact that it was used by only 3 states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to state-by-state winner-take-all enacted rules.

        Again, 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). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President.

  11. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:21 pm

    It is sometimes asserted that “the voters would rebel” if a state’s electoral votes were awarded to a candidate who did not carry their own state. This argument is based on the incorrect premise that the voters are devoted and attached to the current system. In fact, the opposite is true. 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). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in Arkansas (80%), California (70%), Colorado (68%), Connecticut (73%), Delaware (75%), Kentucky (80%), Maine (71%), Massachusetts (73%), Michigan (73%), Mississippi (77%), Missouri (70%), New Hampshire (69%), Nebraska (74%), Nevada (72%), New Mexico (76%), New York (79%), North Carolina (74%), Ohio (70%), Pennsylvania (78%), Rhode Island (74%), Vermont (75%), Virginia (74%), Washington (77%), and Wisconsin (71%). In short, the public believes that the candidate that receives the most votes should get elected.

    see http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

    • November 11, 2009 6:15 pm

      Copy and paste some more will ya? People are attached to this system when they actually understand why it is in place. This is the very reason why folks like you refuse to address the points made about the Legislative branch.

      Look, I posted a link to the information you are pasting. There is no need to paste the whole website here. If you would like to have a conversation, I am game for that. If all you want to do is copy and paste, then no longer will I engage you in this conversation.

  12. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:24 pm

    The National Popular Vote plan is an interstate compact—a type of state law that is explicitly authorized by the U.S. Constitution to enable otherwise sovereign states to enter into legally enforceable contractual obligations with one another.

    There are hundreds of major interstate compacts. Examples of interstate compacts include the Colorado River Compact (allocating water among seven western states), the Multi-State Tax Compact (whose membership includes 23 states and the District of Columbia), the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact, the Interstate Corrections Compact, the Mutual Aid Compact, the Great Lakes Basin Compact, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (a two-state compact), and the Multi-State Lottery Compact (which operates the Power Ball lotto game in 21 states). Numerous other compacts are listed in Appendix M of this book. Some compacts include all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Interstate compacts existed under the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution explicitly continued compacts that were in existence when the Constitution came into force.

    Interstate compacts are legally enforceable on the states because the U.S. Constitution requires a state to honor all commitments that it makes in an interstate compact. The Impairments Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides:

    “No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.”82

    The Council of State Governments summarizes the nature of interstate compacts as follows:

    “Compacts are agreements between two or more states that bind them to the compacts’ provisions, just as a contract binds two or more parties in a business deal. As such, compacts are subject to the substantive principles of contract law and are protected by the constitutional prohibition against laws that impair the obligations of contracts (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 10).

    “That means that compacting states are bound to observe the terms of their agreements, even if those terms are inconsistent with other state laws. In short, compacts between states are somewhat like treaties between nations. Compacts have the force and effect of statutory law (whether enacted by statute or not) and they take precedence over conflicting state laws, regardless of when those laws are enacted.

    “However, unlike treaties, compacts are not dependent solely upon the good will of the parties. Once enacted, compacts may not be unilaterally renounced by a member state, except as provided by the compacts themselves. Moreover, Congress and the courts can compel compliance with the terms of interstate compacts.”

    • November 11, 2009 6:20 pm

      Article one Section 10

      “Section 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility. “

  13. mvymvy permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:25 pm

    “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by Nationwide Popular Vote”

    Article I–Membership

    Any State of the United States and the District of Columbia may become a member of this agreement by enacting this agreement.

    Article II–Right of the People in Member States to Vote for President and Vice President

    Each member state shall conduct a statewide popular election for President and Vice President of the United States.

    Article III–Manner of Appointing Presidential Electors in Member States

    Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each presidential slate in each State of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate.

    The chief election official of each member state shall designate the presidential slate with the largest national popular vote total as the “national popular vote winner.”

    The presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment in that official’s own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association with the national popular vote winner.

    At least six days before the day fixed by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, each member state shall make a final determination of the number of popular votes cast in the state for each presidential slate and shall communicate an official statement of such determination within 24 hours to the chief election official of each other member state.

    The chief election official of each member state shall treat as conclusive an official statement containing the number of popular votes in a state for each presidential slate made by the day established by federal law for making a state’s final determination conclusive as to the counting of electoral votes by Congress.

    In event of a tie for the national popular vote winner, the presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment of the elector slate nominated in association with the presidential slate receiving the largest number of popular votes within that official’s own state.

    If, for any reason, the number of presidential electors nominated in a member state in association with the national popular vote winner is less than or greater than that state’s number of electoral votes, the presidential candidate on the presidential slate that has been designated as the national popular vote winner shall have the power to nominate the presidential electors for that state and that state’s presidential elector certifying official shall certify the appointment of such nominees. The chief election official of each member state shall immediately release to the public all vote counts or statements of votes as they are determined or obtained.

    This article shall govern the appointment of presidential electors in each member state in any year in which this agreement is, on July 20, in effect in states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes.

    Article IV–Other Provisions

    This agreement shall take effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form and the enactments by such states have taken effect in each state.

    Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term.

    The chief executive of each member state shall promptly notify the chief executive of all other states of when this agreement has been enacted and has taken effect in that official’s state, when the state has withdrawn from this agreement, and when this agreement takes effect generally.

    This agreement shall terminate if the electoral college is abolished.

    If any provision of this agreement is held invalid, the remaining provisions shall not be affected.

    Article V–Definitions

    For purposes of this agreement,

    “chief executive” shall mean the Governor of a State of the United States or the Mayor of the District of Columbia;

    “elector slate” shall mean a slate of candidates who have been nominated in a state for the position of presidential elector in association with a presidential slate;

    “chief election official” shall mean the state official or body that is authorized to certify the total number of popular votes for each presidential slate;

    “presidential elector” shall mean an elector for President and Vice President of the United States;

    “presidential elector certifying official” shall mean the state official or body that is authorized to certify the appointment of the state’s presidential electors;

    “presidential slate” shall mean a slate of two persons, the first of whom has been nominated as a candidate for President of the United States and the second of whom has been nominated as a candidate for Vice President of the United States, or any legal successors to such persons, regardless of whether both names appear on the ballot presented to the voter in a particular state;

    “state” shall mean a State of the United States and the District of Columbia; and

    “statewide popular election” shall mean a general election in which votes are cast for presidential slates by individual voters and counted on a statewide basis.

    • November 11, 2009 6:31 pm

      That is one of the biggest pieces of garbage legislation in existence. Not unlike the way you presented your case here, it omits entirely how it undermines the very structure of a Republican form of government. Like you, it does not address the points I made in my writing. You do yourself and your position a disservice by being unwilling to debate the specific points brought to your attention.

      It is fair to say you tried to copy and paste your way around the debate but talking points are old hat and as more people become more educated about what is happening in our country today, what the Constitution says and what it means, I am happy to say that your collectivism approach is being rejected more and more every day.

      You have not defended the check and balance that is the electoral college, nor have you even really tried. This is why the movement you advocate has taken the path it has. It fears the open debate and the downside of it’s own position. To this end, it seeks to pretend those downsides do not exist and avoid conversation about those downsides entirely. You demonstrated that quite well for all to see here and I thank you for doing so.

  14. April 6, 2011 6:11 pm

    we have pulled together the case against NPV at saveourstates.com. You’re right that this its a real threat to constitutional government.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: