by: Diane Benjamin
Ever heard somebody say they don’t vote because it doesn’t matter? We used to think they were being ridiculous and misinformed. Maybe they aren’t so wrong.
10 states and the District of Columbia have now passed a National Popular Vote bill. These states comprise 61% of the electoral college vote. The President is elected by the electoral college, not the actual vote. However, members of the electoral college normally represent the vote results in each state. So, if a Republican wins in Tennessee, the Tennessee electoral votes will be for the Republican.
Progressives have never liked this plan. They believe the popular vote should elect the President. This gives large states with big populations, like California and New York, more say in who becomes President. That’s why the electoral college was created. We are a representative Republic, not a Democracy. To achieve their goals, progressives decided that states could agree that no matter how the votes goes in their individual states, all electors will vote for whoever wins the popular vote.
Say New Jersey has more votes for the Republican candidate than the Democrat. Under this agreement, if the Democrat gets more votes in the entire country than the Republican, New Jersey’s electoral college votes will be for the Democrat. It won’t matter what the citizens of New Jersey say, their votes won’t matter.
The states that have passed this so far are: California, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington, DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
It remains to be seen if this plan is unconstitutional. With judges now making laws instead upholding existing laws there is no guarantee the Constitution still matters. The people behind this effort believe the Constitution allows the states to choose electors any way they want. They think this inter-state agreement qualifies as such.
Since people are leaving states like Illinois and California, their number of electors could be reduced in 2020 – the next census. This might be the only way to make sure our vote still matters.
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