I attach this to each email. Lawmakers can read it if they like. It’s easier to edit/update the addendum than the main message. Feel free to pick and choose what you want to include.
BILL # ___ - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION provided by Roberta Schlechter
WHAT IS NPV: Every four years each state holds a popular vote for President. States that join the NPV Compact make a future commitment to throw out their results when STATE voters disagree with the national popular vote winner. But first, enough states must join the Compact to total the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
WHAT IS THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE: The Electoral College is the group of representatives (Electors) chosen in each state to cast the official ballots (electoral votes) for President and Vice President of the United States. Each state gets as many Electors as it has members of the U.S. House and Senate—the math is the same as in Congress.
HISTORY AND CONTEXT: Our Founders set out to birth a republic of STATES built on federalism—resilient self-governance. They created a 3-part federal infrastructure. The US Congress both reflects the populous and gives agency to the states. Our elections infrastructure does the same. The result: since 1914 the Electoral College has given us 15 Democrat and 15 GOP presidents!
A parallel example is the Senate filibuster rule. The rule embraces minority viewpoints and fosters consensus. In the same way the Electoral College forces presidential candidates to win in multiple parts of the country--just as our Founders envisioned. They rejected a “pure” democracy --“Two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.”
The Constitution empowers state legislatures to determine HOW Electors are selected. In 48 states and DC, all Electors are chosen based on the statewide vote—a “winner-take-all” system. However in Maine and Nebraska, one Elector is elected in each Congressional District and the remaining two are elected based on the statewide vote. If citizens of a state are unhappy with the selection process used, they can lobby the legislature to change it.
Simplistic notions about “SWING” states don’t hold up. In 2020 the progressive group Marie Claire identified 12 states that “tend to flip between red and blue each election cycle.” Except that half of them did not! The Heritage Foundation reports that since 1968, 34 out of 50 states have been labeled as swing states. “However,” it goes on to say, “with rare exceptions, established urban centers … will always have large populations that vote in a predictable fashion.” Guess which voters candidates would chase without Electoral College influence.
POTUS Represents the STATES but does NOT govern the people.
POTUS stands for “President of the UNITED STATES.” The Constitution--which every state has ratified--makes no allowances for direct election of a president. By its own admission, NPV would push America toward a “Peoples’ President,” side-stepping the states. Imagine a future when multiple candidates chase a plurality of the vote. This splintering opens the door to national recounts. Worse, it points to more power/influence flowing away from the states, to be swallowed up by the bloated federal bureaucracy.
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A decade ago when I first learned about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, I knew I needed to work hard against it and help inform lawmakers about the pitfalls of this Agreement among a few States.