A plan, now stealthily making its way through state legislatures with astonishing speed, would junk the Electoral College and award the presidency to the winner of the popular vote.
The plan involves an Interstate Compact where states would commit to select electors pledged to vote for the national popular vote winner regardless of how their own state voted. When enough states pass this law -- sufficient to cast 270 votes for the a majority of the Electoral College -- it will take effect.
The Electoral College will become a vestigial anachronism.
So far, nine states and D.C. -- casting 136 electoral votes -- have joined -- half way to the 270 needed to put the compact into effect. The ratifying states are: Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, DC, Vermont, California, and Rhode Island.
Both houses in New York have passed it and it's on Governor Cuomo's desk.
And, it has already passed one house in: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon. These states, plus New York represent 107 votes. Combined with the others they are up to 242 votes. They need 270.
Who is pushing this?
All of the ratifying voted for Obama as did eight of the ten one house states.
The Movement is funded, in part, by the Center for Voting and Democracy, a George Soros-funded election group.
Essentially, it is an end run around the regular constitutional amending process. Rather than get a two-thirds majority of each house of Congress and three-quarters of the states, this proposal would take effect when a simple majority approve it.
Why are Democrats pushing this plan?
Democrats usually see a smaller percentage of their people go to the polls than Republicans do.
Under the electoral vote system, they figure why beat the drums to get a high turnout in New York City when the state will go Democrat anyway? But, if it's the popular vote that matters, the big city machines can do their thing -- with devastating impact.
And think of the chances for voter fraud! Right now, the biggest cities, the ones most firmly in Democratic control (e.g. Washington DC, New York, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.) are all solidly in blue states. Not only does this make it unnecessary to maximize turnouts there, but it also makes it unnecessary to promote double voting, fraudulent voting, and all the other tricks of the trade at which Democrats excel.
But if the popular vote determines who will be the next president, we can bet that the machines will be out in force lining up voters, real and phony, to pad their statistics.
Some Republicans, particularly in non-swing states, are inclined to back the proposal simply so that they get their fair share of attention. They are tired of delegating to Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Virginia, et al the power to choose the president. And they can't remember when a candidate for that office last favored their state with his presence.
But don't let our Attention Deficit Disorder lead us to give away the store. The popular vote is what the Democrats do best. Fighting them on it is, in Winston Churchill's words, "like going into the water to fight the shark."
Republicans need to kill this proposal and they better get busy doing it. Some small states are backing it because they are tired of all the attention being focused on swing states. But Republicans must stand firm and not yield to the temptation to back it.
How can we stop the Democrats from ravaging our political system? The key battles are coming up in Arkansas and North Carolina. In both states, one house has passed the Compact. We need to stand firm in these two red states and block the Compact from taking effect. Republicans in Minnesota and Wisconsin, both blue states, need to stop ratification in their states.
And, Republicans should focus on stopping the second house from ratification in those states where only one house has acted.
Our democracy depends on it.
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