Letter to the Editor: Vote no on NPVC
Very soon, your vote for President of the United States could be meaningless. There is a scheme on the national front known as the National Popular Vote Compact designed to circumvent the Electoral College. Proponents of the NPVC (National Popular Vote Compact) state that it does not do away with the Electoral College, which in theory is true, but it does a very good job of rendering its purpose ineffective. To do away with the Electoral College would necessitate a very complex amendment to the constitution.
The assumption of the NPVC seems to be that the U.S. is considered a democracy – one man, one vote, direct election; which it never has been, and which appears nowhere in the constitution. Examples of nations who hold direct elections (a democracy) are Afghanistan, Iran and Venezuela.
The 11 most populous states, if signed on to the NVPC, would comprise the 270 electoral votes needed to elect the President, regardless of whether or not the remaining 39 states participate in the Compact. These states could control our elections indefinitely.
If Colorado adopts the NPVC and we, the voters, cast a majority of votes for Candidate “A”, the state’s Electoral College votes would not be cast for that candidate IF Candidate “B” won the most votes from individuals in the 50 states and Washington DC. Our vote would be null and void. It would disenfranchise our state electors as they would be required to support the national popular vote over their state’s choice. According to the Independence Institute, “In deciding how electors are appointed, state lawmakers may choose a range of procedures. But they have a constitutional duty to choose a method consistent with the electoral system’s purpose and design. Attempting to convert electors into agents of other states – like selling them to the highest bidder – would be an unconstitutional breach of public trust.”
Should events in one state require the recount of votes, not just the offending state would have to be recounted, but the entire country. Each state has its own method and time frame for recounting, which could delay results indefinitely, and lead to a greater chance for fraud. What happens to the election if a state refuses to recount? Methods for enforcement of the conflict are unclear.
According to the Harvard Law Review,” even if the NPVC somehow comes into effect at some point well down the road, the partisan divide makes it far more likely for the NPVC to unravel in a future presidential election. Suppose that a few of those Democratic-leaning (at least in Presidential elections) states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin join the NPVC, and it comes into effect. Now suppose that in some future presidential election, it looks like the Republican presidential candidate may win the popular vote. In that scenario there will be overwhelming political pressure in signatory states – which, remember, include heavily Democratic states such as California and New York – to withdraw from the NPVC. To be sure, the NPVC anticipates this problem nominally forbidding states to withdraw from the compact after July 20th in a presidential election year. But here is the rub: that limitation is unenforceable both as a legal and practical matter.”
The appeal of NVPC is that it appears to be simple, but don’t be deceived. NVPC has serious problems that have not been addressed. Do we want another situation where a bill is passed without knowing what all is in it and what long term effects it may have? The choice is yours. The election is less than 90 days away. Be cautious. Be informed.
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