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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)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Arkansas House Reverses Itself and Passes Electoral College Bill

Update: This bill was defeated by one vote in committee in the Arkansas Senate. It can not be reintroduced until 2011. Of interest was why did Rep. Monty Davenport push a bill that his constituents overwhelmingly oppose. He has now announced that he plans to run for Arkansas Land Commissioner in 2010. Obviously, he's been seeking to cultivate funding from outside of his normal constituents for his future campaign.

HB1703, proposed by State Rep. Monty Davenport (D-Yellville) that would make Arkansas part of a movement to adopt a presidential-election system based on the popular nationwide vote passed the House by a vote of 52-41 and was sent to the Senate yesterday and is before the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. The House had previously rejected Davenport's bill on Monday on a 45-51 vote after members questioned the impact it would have on Arkansas' role in national politics. Davenport wants to direct Arkansas members of the Electoral College to vote for whichever presidential candidate won a majority of votes nationwide, regardless of how that candidate fared in Arkansas.

The proposed bill is part of an agenda advanced by a group trying to do away with the traditional role of the Electoral College. If this bill becomes law, Arkansas' votes and influence in Presidential elections would have no real effect on the selection of a President. A group of States with large populations would control the Presidential elections. Our countries forefathers created several protections in the constitution to protect the smaller populated states: each state would have 2 senators and the president would be chosen by the Electoral College process verses by a general popular vote.

If other states go along with the plan, it could have changed the way the nation elects presidents. Legislatures in North Dakota and Montana have rejected the plan. The Colorado Senate approved the measure last month. The California Legislature endorsed the agreement last year, but the governor vetoed it. The Electoral College has performed its function for over 200 years ... by ensuring that the President of the U.S. has both sufficient popular support to govern and that his popular support is sufficiently distributed throughout the country to enable him to govern effectively. ... Proposals to abolish the Electoral College, though frequently put forward, have failed largely because the alternatives to it appear more problematic than is the College itself. The fact that the Electoral College was originally designed to solve one set of problems but today serves to solve an entirely different set of problems is a tribute to the genius of the Founding Fathers." William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director, FEC National Clearinghouse on Election Administration.

Call to Action: Arkansas' electoral votes may be small but they are so important that presidential candidates and their campaigns must consider Arkansas voters. If this bill becomes law, presidential candidates will be able to ignore Arkansas entirely. It will not matter to them which way Arkansas votes as long as they win the larger populated areas in the U.S.. Why surrender our "minority" voice that was so wisely protected for us by our forefathers? Please contact your State Senator and ask them to protect the voice of Arkansas by voting NO on HB1703.
See Also: U.S. Electoral College
The Pro's and Con's of the Electoral College System


Tags: Arkansas, elections, Electoral College, House
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:15 AM - Post Link

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With this bill, Arkansas is committing political suicide. We will become a tail wagged by the Big Dogs, New York and California.

The Electoral College, where we get slightly more clout than our numbers call for is one way we small states get to balance power with the big states.

When I was running for Congress, I found that Arkansas gets back about $1.04 for every dollar we pay in Federal Highway Taxes. The big states get back between $2.50 and $4.00. Do we want to give them even MORE clout, more power over us, while we sink into economic depression for lack of roads and other facilities?

Vern Humphrey
Mountain View

3/21/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite alarming info, Uncle Vern. I have been wondering what the situation is now.

Ani Ibi
Toronto

6/01/2009  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

Ani, Thanks for posting a comment. Reminded us that we need to advise people that the bill fortunately fell in committee in the Arkansas Senate. So the issue is dead for another two years.

6/01/2009  

Post a Comment

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