Thursday, April 05, 2007

National Popular Vote Compact Among States

National Popular Vote Movement

National Popular Vote Bill Has 284 Sponsors in 47 States
April 2, 2007

National Popular Vote announced that its bill has 284 sponsors in 47 states for the 2007 state legislative sessions.

National Popular Vote is currently in discussions with legislators who may sponsor the National Popular Vote bill in the remaining states. To see status of the National Popular Bill in any state, click on the clickable map on our home page or go to the "States" page.

The National Popular Vote bill would enact the proposed interstate compact entitled the "Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote." The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the election of the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Maryland Senate and House Pass, governor to sign

Day after our post

Abolition of Electoral College under way
Change would give control of White House to handful of states
Posted: April 6, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2007

A movement is sweeping the nation that could eliminate the Electoral College in national elections, and with it much of this country's republican form of government, instead giving unstoppable control over the White House to any coalition the major population centers would choose to create.

Maryland's state legislature already has given approval to a proposal that would, in conjunction with other states' efforts, eliminate the college, and similar plans have already been approved by single legislative houses in Hawaii, Colorado and Arizona. In seven more states – Washington, Montana, California, New Mexico, Louisiana, West Virginia and Connecticut – the plans have been endorsed by legislative committees.

And in 28 more states the proposals have been introduced while legislative writers in another eight states are working on plans, according to a report from the group called National Popular Vote, which is lobbying for the change.

The procedure to elect a president in the United States, although it had happened in the past, became an issue for activists when in 2000 George W. Bush collected fewer popular votes than Al Gore, but because of the concentration of those votes in key states, collected the necessary 270 electoral college votes for the presidency. Electoral college votes are equal to the size of a state's congressional delegation, and are awarded based largely on the winner of the popular vote in those states.

However, an analysis of the issue by Wallbuilders, a Christian organization with expertise in historical and constitutional issues, said the argument that the electoral college system is unfair to voters and "individual votes are meaningless" doesn't hold up.

"Interestingly, because of the electoral college, the opposite has been true," the group's report said. "As the Florida situation proved, individual votes are tallied – sometimes several times."

And it quoted Curtis Gans, of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, who said getting rid of the electoral college would reduce political campaigns in the United States to "television advertising" and "tarmac."

"There would be virtually no incentive to try to mobilize constituencies, organize specific interests, or devote any resources to such things as voter registration and education. … What we would have is a political system that combines the worst of network television with the worst of the modern campaign," he concluded.

Wallbuilders noted that given a direct democracy – one person with one vote and winner-take-all – "candidates would logically spend their campaign courting voters in the most populous urban areas such as Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C., Miami, Seattle, etc., rather than visiting cities in more rural areas – cities like Wichita, Birmingham, Amarillo, Cheyenne, Springfield, Tulsa, etc."


In Colorado, the plan was carried in the state Senate by Majority Leader Ken Gordon.

"It is revolutionary, I admit. It is called democracy. I know some people are concerned. It is a big change … but I believe that if the framers of the Constitution were around now they would favor a woman's right to vote, they would oppose slavery and they would support electing the president by majority vote."

But Wallbuilders noted that – along with proposals to have Congress or the state legislatures choose a president – the idea of a national popular vote was discussed by the authors of the Constitution.

"This idea was rejected not because the framers distrusted the people but rather because the larger populous states would have much greater influence than the smaller states and therefore the interests of those smaller states could be disregarded or trampled," Wallbuilders said. "Additionally, a nationwide election would encourage regionalism since the more populous areas of the country could form coalitions to elect president after president from their own region. With such regional preferentialism, lasting national unity would be nearly impossible."

Wallbuilders said the electoral college specifically was chosen to maintain a republican form of government, as opposed to a strict democracy. And it provides more influence to areas with lesser populations.

For the same reason, Congress was set up with representation based on population in the House, and representation based on the states in the Senate...

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