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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, March 07, 2016

Destroying the Electoral College in Georgia - What About Your State?

ARRA News Service Articles on
Electoral College & NPV movement
by Hans von Spakovsky:  Georgians who care about the U.S. Constitution should be alarmed about two bills being pushed through the state legislature. They would, in essence, eliminate the Electoral College set up by the Framers – but without going through the required process of passing a constitutional amendment.

The Georgia legislature is currently considering whether Georgia should enter into a state compact known as the National Popular Vote plan. The NPV is being pushed by a California advocacy organization organized and financed by multimillionaires John Koza and Tom Golisano. Koza is a former Al Gore elector; Golisano was a John Kerry supporter who gave a cool $1 million to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Koza and his fellow liberal activists (such as Jonathan Soros, who also supports the NPV) want to get rid of the Electoral College — without getting the consent of the majority of Americans or the approval of Congress.

Their stealth campaign proposes an interstate compact in which participating states agree to allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the popular vote results in their states or whether the candidate even qualified to be on that state’s ballot. So in 2008 and 2012 when the majority of Georgia voters chose John McCain and Mitt Romney, the state would have ignored its voters and awarded the state’s Electoral College votes to Barack Obama.

The NPV will go into effect as soon as states with a majority of the electoral votes needed to win an election (270) join the compact. Unfortunately, a number of states – all of which are blue states – including Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, California and Massachusetts, have agreed to participate in this dangerous cartel. Yet the NPV undermines federalism by undercutting the roles of the states in the presidential election process.

According to the U.S. Census, 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas. Forty percent live in the 10 largest media markets. The NPV would elevate the importance of big urban centers such as New York and Los Angeles and these major media markets, while diminishing the influence of smaller states and rural areas. That was a major reason for establishing the Electoral College in the first place: to prevent elections from becoming contests where presidential candidates would simply campaign in big cities for votes and ignore the rest of the country.

Those who complain that only battleground or “swing” states get all of the attention forget that states that are today considered to be solidly “blue” or “red” weren’t so long ago. California was competitive for decades, and Florida was considered a red state until the mid-1990s. Swing states change, but with only rare exceptions, urban areas will always have high populations. The NPV will only help those urban centers — not the rural areas and smaller states that are protected by the Electoral College.

Recounts under the NPV would be a nightmare. The Electoral College reduces the possibility of a recount since popular vote totals are often much closer than the margins produced by the Electoral College’s “winner-take-all” system in 48 states. Even presidents who win with relatively small margins in the national vote usually win an overwhelming mandate in the Electoral College, providing finality and a mandate to the winner.

Recount rules are different in every state. Yet a recount in just one state would be an incentive for a national recount since every additional vote found anywhere could make the difference to the losing candidate. Take the contentious fight that happened in just one state in 2000 – Florida – and imagine that happening in every county in every state in the country.

The NPV would encourage voter fraud. After all, every bogus vote could make the difference in changing the outcome of a national race, not just the results in one state. This would be particularly dangerous in one-party towns where there is no opposition party to work as election officials or poll watchers. There is little incentive to engage in such partisan fraud where it is most possible now, since the dominant party is likely to win in that county or district anyway, but under the NPV scheme, there is an increased incentive to engage in fraud in places that are the most corrupt and one-sided.

The NPV could also radicalize American politics, since the winner under the NPV is whichever candidate gets the most votes, even if it is only 25 percent or 35 percent in a race with multiple candidates. This could lead to presidents being elected with very small pluralities, making it even harder to govern the nation.

There is no reason for Georgia to help implement a plan that strikes directly at the Framers’ views of federalism and a representative republic that balances popular sovereignty with structural protections for state governments and minority interests. The Electoral College has provided orderly elections for the world’s greatest democracy for over 200 years. We change it at our peril.
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans con Spakovsky

Tags: Hans von Spakovsky, U.S. Constitution, Electoral College, destrying electoral college, Georgia, NPV, National Popularity Vote To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:00 PM - Post Link


Blogger toto said...

The U.S. Constitution says "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The normal way of changing the method of electing the President is not a federal constitutional amendment, but changes in state law.

Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President have come about by state legislative action. For example, the people had no vote for President in most states in the nation's first election in 1789. However, now, as a result of changes in the state laws governing the appointment of presidential electors, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states.

In 1789, only 3 states used the winner-take-all method (awarding all of a state's electoral vote to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state). However, as a result of changes in state laws, the winner-take-all method is now currently used by 48 of the 50 states.

In 1789, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote; however, as a result of changes in state laws, there are now no property requirements for voting in any state.

In other words, neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.


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