National popular vote easier said than done
Glenn Beaton’s Feb. 24 column (“Dems shooting themselves in foot with Electoral College compact,” The Aspen Times) on the National Popular Vote Compact (NPVC) attracted many long and tortuous comments from outside Aspen (yes, Virginia, there is a world outside Aspen). Let me summarize them: Voting for the losing presidential candidate is pointless. Give losers a chance to win by aggregating their votes with losers in other states.
None addressed the purpose of the Electoral College, nor that the NPVC violates the U.S. Constitution.
Bills from “The People’s House” go to die in the Senate. That’s intentional. The House is where representatives can propose and adopt any crazy idea, many of which could harm some states. The Senate, representing the sovereign states, can kill the worst ideas. Two senators represent each state regardless of population to prevent big states from crushing little ones.
The Electoral College serves the same purpose. National popular election might seem “fair” to individuals. But the Electoral College is for being fair to smaller states. It protects the interests of the smaller states. Without the Electoral College, presidential candidates could ignore all but large states. This happened at the state level in Colorado, when gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis never traveled west of Boulder. It would be different if we had a county-based electoral college in Colorado for gubernatorial elections.
Colorado has generally clean elections; not all states do. NPVC would import voting irregularities (Florida?) into Colorado from other states by honoring their tainted vote counts.
The NPVC can’t be adopted anyway without amending the Constitution. Article I, Section 10 prohibits compacts between states without congressional approval (which the NPVC doesn’t have). Article II, Section 1 assigns the House of Representatives responsibility for electing presidents when there’s no electoral majority. The states can’t negate U.S. constitutional provisions, as the NPVC would do, without actually amending the Constitution.
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