I Still Oppose the National Popular Vote

I feel like its easy to stuff ballots to get a president elected with this system like what happened in Washington State. The electoral college system stinks, but the NPV system stinks too. Maybe we could still use the electoral college, but have the votes allocated proportionally. So if the Republican in 2012 has 35 percent in California, and 65 percent for Obama we would allocate it as, 19 electoral votes for the Republican, 36 for Obama. Maybe have it where the electoral college matter even for third parties could destroy the NPV movement.

Shawn Steel writes more at the Flash Report on this.

Last Friday, the finale of the Republican National Committee Summer Meeting in humid Tampa was the utter repudiation of the National Popular Vote [NPV].  A resolution opposing the National Popular Vote Compact won support of every voting RNC member but one who voted “present” instead of “yes.” No one can recall when nearly all 168 members of the RNC agreed on anything. Critics warn that a national popular vote would be a backdoor way of amending the Constitution, while shifting the center of gravity in presidential elections from the Founding Fathers’ vision of an urban-rural, large-small states balance to one with a much more urban.

The NPV was given new life with renegade billionaire Tom Golisano took over the fledgling campaign, after the initial post Bush/Gore election drive faltered. Golisano is a seven figure donor to the Democrat Party and ran as an ‘independent’ not once, or twice but three times against moderate Republican governor George Pataki. Golisano then moved to Florida and adopted NPV.

National Popular Vote [see their web site here] seeks to sidestep the Electoral College by having states agree in a mutual compact that no matter how their individual state would vote, that their state’s electors would be required to cast that state’s electoral votes to the “national” vote winner.

Of course, this runs contrary to the Founder’s multiple safety valves in the Constitution to prevent an outright centralized national authority to select our Presidents. Moreover, NPV destroys our de-centralized federalist union. As the Delaware Senator Anthony J. DeLuca, President Pro Tempore, former business manager of the IBEW, stated, once the NPV passes Republicans will never again elect a President. Why would he say that?

Simple. If states no longer control who gets elected, then it’s a simple matter of massing votes from corrupt urban areas. No longer would 50 states matter, but only huge urban regions would control. New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago would push the vote. Chicago notorious fraudulent cemetery voters would no longer be confided to Illinois. Instead Chicago alone would bury the med-west. Fly over would have a whole new meaning. There are many other reasons for opposing NPV, which extend to moral, ideological, constitutional or practical. See Save our States for more information.

More here

4 thoughts on “I Still Oppose the National Popular Vote”

  1. The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud. A very few people can change the national outcome by changing 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.

    Senator Birch Bayh (D-Indiana) summed up the concerns about possible fraud in a nationwide popular election for President in a Senate speech by saying in 1979, “one of the things we can do to limit fraud is to limit the benefits to be gained by fraud. Under a direct popular vote system, one fraudulent vote wins one vote in the return. In the electoral college system, one fraudulent vote could mean 45 electoral votes, 28 electoral votes.”

    Hendrik Hertzberg wrote: “To steal the closest popular-vote election in American history, you’d have to steal more than a hundred thousand votes . . .To steal the closest electoral-vote election
    in American history, you’d have to steal around 500 votes, all in one state. .                            

    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.

    Which, I ask you, is an easier mark for vote-stealers, the status quo or N.P.V.[National Popular Vote]? Which offers thieves a better shot at success for a smaller effort?”

  2. 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. 

    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 makeevery 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 assureelection 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 guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President.

  3. 2/3rds of the states and people have been just spectators to the presidential elections. That’s more than 85 million voters.

     Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. 

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained 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 National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections.  It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.  

    State election laws are not identical now nor is there anything in the National Popular Vote compact that would force them to become identical.  The U.S. Constitution specifically permits diversity of election laws among the states because it explicitly gives the states control over the conduct of presidential elections. 

    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 has been the case recently in Maine and Nebraska), or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

  4. 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 obscurely far down  as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States. 
    Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

    Evidence as to how a nationwide presidential campaign would be run, can be found by examining the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as in Ohio and Florida,  under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. 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. 

    Because every vote is equal inside Ohio or Florida, presidential candidates avidly seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns. The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate in Ohio and Florida already knows–namely that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the state.

    Even 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 Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a
    nationwide election.

    In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.

    Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.

    There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states. It is certainly true that the biggest cities in those states typically vote Democratic. However, the suburbs, exurbs, small towns, and rural parts of the states often voted Republican. If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.

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