Saturday, April 19, 2014

SATURDAY POLITICS: New York Joins NPV Movement To Bypass Electoral College

Big news in the world of electoral politics. If you hate the idea of swing states and the idea that some state's matter more in deciding the presidency, you should like the idea of the National Popular Vote. I endorsed this idea nearly 3 years ago when California signed on in 2011.

From the website's explanation:
Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).
The big news this week was that New York has joined the compact, which means that there are now 12 states with 165 electoral votes (61% of the way to 270) that have agreed to vote with whomever wins the national popular vote.

The New Yorker reports:
On Tuesday, the State of New York took a baby step—or maybe a giant leap!—toward making the United States of America something more closely resembling a modern democracy: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill joining up the Empire State to the National Popular Vote (N.P.V.) interstate compact. 
As I’ve explained many times (fifty-one, to be exact), N.P.V. is a way to elect our Presidents the way we elect our governors, our mayors, our senators and representatives, our state legislators, and everybody else: by totting up the voters’ votes—all of them—and awarding the job to whichever candidate gets the largest number. And it does this without changing a word of the Constitution. 
Impossible, you say? No. Quite possible—even probable—and in time for 2020, if not for 2016. 
Here’s how it works: Suppose you could get a bunch of states to pledge that once there are enough of them to possess at least two hundred and seventy electoral votes—a majority of the Electoral College—they will thenceforth cast all their electoral votes for whatever candidate gets the most popular votes in the entire country. As soon as that happens, presto change-o: the next time you go to the polls, you’ll be voting in a true national election. No more ten or so battleground states, no more forty or so spectator states, just the United States—all of them, and all of the voters who live in them.
The electoral college is an abomination of the idea that each person's vote should count equally to the result of the election. The sooner it is gone, the better for democracy.

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