National Popular Vote – Bad Idea

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A fair election system is critical to giving our Grandchildren a better world.

I’ve just read about an effort called the National Popular Vote in the Forbes Richest People in America issue, 10/10/2011.  Supporters claim that this effort will give each of us an equal vote for President; I see it as giving away our vote to other states.  States which pass this law will assign all of their electoral votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most votes Nationally, not the most votes in the state.  In other words rural America gives away its votes (and sovereignty) to the high population centers.  This is a back door method of getting around amending the constitution to eliminate the Electoral College which would take 3/4 of the states to pass. It only takes states with 270 electors to approve this method, and we have a de facto popular vote election for President.  Our Founding Fathers created Congress with Senators (based on geography, every state gets 2) and Representatives (based on population) as a compromise (fair deal) between heavily populated and sparsely populated states.  Election of the President via the Electoral College was intentionally set up to mimic this good compromise for the same reason.  Now the big population centers have invented/discovered a way to eliminate this compromise for Presidential elections.  Little wonder that the new National Spokesperson (Chair) and major financier is Billionaire Tom Golisano.  The rich would only have to buy ads in, and cater to the whims of the major population centers.  They wouldn’t have to worry about the needs and desires of rural America.

Please join me in keeping this bad idea out of your state.

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6 Responses to National Popular Vote – Bad Idea

  1. mvymvy says:

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

    The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College, instead of the current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all system. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state and district (in ME and NE). Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate. With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn’t be about winning states or districts (in ME and NE). No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states and less than 60 districts. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

    In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that, only 7-14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Candidates will not care about at least 72% of the voters– voters in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and in 16 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. In 2008, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). 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. More than 85 million voters have been just spectators to the general election.

    Now, policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states – that include 9 of the original 13 states – are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing, too.

    Charlie Cook reported in 2004:
    “Senior Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd pointed out yesterday that the Bush campaign hadn’t taken a national poll in almost two years; instead, it has been polling 18 battleground states.”

    Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer acknowledging the reality in the Washington Post on June 21, 2009 said:
    “If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”

    Since World War II, a shift of only a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections. 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 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.

  2. mvymvy 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 Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed 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, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    NationalPopularVote.com

    • Chris4Gkids says:

      Here is a compromise that I would offer because it maintains the integrity of each person’s regional vote. Note: my main complaint with the NPV is the “Me Too” approach to voting.
      Compromise: Electoral votes are distributed BY STATE, reflecting the proportion of votes in THAT STATE. Thank you for your comment. Further comments?

  3. mvymvy says:

    Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.

    If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own,, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

    The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

    If the whole-number proportional approach had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.

    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.

    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.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

    • Chris4Gkids says:

      Thanks for your follow-up. Turns out my state , Washington, has already signed on – with little or no fanfare. Oh well. On to other issues like, “How to get BOTH PARTIES thinking America First, party second.”

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