by Leigh Bravo 6/9/14
Currently, behind closed doors and under the radar, Democratic led states are deciding to change the way the United States has elected its President for the past 200+ years!
Have you, the American taxpayer, been notified of this change? Have you been given a voice in this decision? Have you seen any stories on mainstream media about how our voting rights will be changed if this law is passed?
Eleven states have quietly signed into law a new bill, the “National Popular Vote Bill,” which will get rid of the current electoral college and award the White House to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote. Why did they not go through the Congress? Why have we not heard about this on the news? Why has this vote been secretly advancing under the radar?
There is not enough support in Congress to make the change, therefore the individual states are taking it upon themselves to change the way the United States has voted from the beginning of our republic and leaving public opinion and state representatives off the playing field. Could it be that the political force enacting this change feel the majority of Americans would not support changing our Constitutional voting laws? Have they decided to take it upon themselves to make the change without any press coverage and without the public being aware?
Currently, our president is chosen through the electoral college. How does this work? Each state is given a number of electoral votes based on the population of that state. Therefore bigger states have more electoral votes. Americans go to the polls and vote for the candidate of their choice. The candidate that receives the most votes in any one state is then given the electoral votes for that state. This explains why someone can win the popular vote, yet lose the election, such as Bush in 2000, who won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote by 0.5%. Does this mean that if we had a popular vote, that Bush would have lost the election? The answer is no, because money would have been spent differently by the candidates in order to obtain the votes needed to win, regardless of the method…electoral or popular.
Is changing our Constitutional voting process the right thing to do? If you could vote whether to keep our current electoral college method of electing a president, or change it to the popular vote, which would you choose? Which do you think represents the most fair outcome?
Stated in a paper by William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director of the Federal Election Commission,
“Our forefathers considered electing the president by a direct popular vote. However, a popular vote was rejected not because the Framers of the Constitution doubted public intelligence, but rather because they feared that without sufficient information about candidates from outside their state, people would naturally vote for a “favorite son” from their own state or region. At worst, no president would emerge with a popular majority sufficient to govern the whole country. At best, the choice of president would always be decided by the larger, most populous states with little regard for the smaller ones. So, the constitutional convention proposed an indirect election of the president through a College of Electors.”
Here is a list of the states and the electoral votes they each receive as of 2012:
Alaska: 3 • Nebraska: 5
Arizona: 11 • Nevada: 6
Arkansas: 6 • New Hampshire: 4
California: 55 • New Jersey: 14
Colorado: 9 • New Mexico: 5
Connecticut: 7 • New York: 29
Delaware: 3 • North Carolina: 15
District of Columbia: 3 • North Dakota: 3
Florida: 29 • Ohio: 18
Georgia: 16 • Oklahoma: 7
Hawaii: 4 • Oregon: 7
Idaho: 4 • Pennsylvania: 20
Illinois: 20 • Rhode Island: 4
Indiana: 11 • South Carolina: 9
Iowa: 6 • South Dakota: 3
Kansas: 6 • Tennessee: 11
Kentucky: 8 • Texas: 38
Louisiana: 8 • Utah: 6
Maine: 4 • Vermont: 3
Maryland: 10 • Virginia: 13
Massachusetts: 11 • Washington: 12
Minnesota: 10 • West Virginia: 5
Mississippi: 6 • Wisconsin: 10
Missouri: 10 • Wyoming: 3
The number of electoral votes can change with each Presidential election if the U.S. Census Bureaus’s decennial head count changes. Therefore electoral votes can be added or subtracted in each election depending on the head count within each state.
The “National Popular Vote” bill has now been signed into law in 11 jurisdictions possessing a combined 136 electoral votes. They need 270 total electoral votes to bring the “National Popular Vote” bill into effect. Below are the states that have already voted for the bill that will change the way the United States elects its president and the party the state most strongly identifies with:
Distirict of Columbia (3 electoral votes) – Democrat
Hawaii (4 electoral votes) – Democrat
Illinois (20 electoral votes) – Democrat
Maryland (10 electoral votes) – Democrat
Massachusetts (11 electoral votes) – Democrat
New Jersey (14 electoral votes) – Democrat
Washington (12 electoral votes) – Democrat
Vermont (3 electoral votes) – Democrat
California (55 electoral votes) – Democrat
Rhode Island (4 electoral votes) – Democrat
New York (29 electoral votes) – Democrat
So, the question of the day would be: “If your state is on this list, did you know about it? Did your representative contact you and let you know that your legislators were making decisions that effect your vote without your knowledge? Is there a reason that only Democratic states have signed on?
How might this bill change the way we elect our President? Will it favor one party over another? There are lots of arguments for and against this change.
New Yorker Magazine writes:
“The status quo is not good for small states. It’s not good for big states. It’s not good for medium-size states. The only states it’s good for are swing states, and their ranks are shrinking. Last time, there were just nine, marking the first election in a century or two in which the number of swing states was in single digits. There are now fewer of them than there are National Popular Vote states.”
Keith Wagstaff of The Week, says,
“If the popular vote were paramount, candidates might actually visit the National Popular Vote states instead of spending all their time in Ohio and Florida.”
Professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University says:
“Were it not for the Electoral College, presidential candidates could safely ignore less populous states,”
Gary Gregg II of the University of Louisville says,
“The National Popular Vote bill would mean ignoring every rural and small-state voter in our country.”
Morton C. Blackwell, from Virginia says,
“If the National Popular Vote bill had been in effect in 2008, Delaware would have lost 44% of its power. Rhode Island would have lost 51.49% of its power. Wyoming’s power would have dropped by 65.48%. The pattern is the same for all the smaller population states. Gainers, under this bill would be the larger states.”
If we look at the 33 states that have fewer than 11 electoral votes, each state’s percentage of the 538 electoral votes is larger than the state’s percentage of the nation’s population. This information is based on a calculation by Blackwell, however others believe that the 33 below average sized states are ignored under the current electoral system because they are not battleground states and therefore do not receive any of the campaign events in each election.
Some argue that small states have so few people that they would not attract any attention from presidential candidates regardless of the voting system used. However, others support the belief that the attention each state receives is dependent on whether it is closely divided by party not its size.
Let’s look at some interesting statistics. In general, there are more Democrats than Republicans in this country. But, in terms of people who vote, the split is about equal. However, if you have a very high turnout to the voting booth, Democrats would take the election every time. Do these numbers help you in determining if a popular vote would be more advantageous to Democrats or Republicans?
Regardless of your feelings on this topic, the most surprising element of this story continues to be the secretive way in which it is being handled. Once again, the American taxpayer is being kept out of the loop. Decisions that effect each of us are being made without our knowledge. Politicians continue to be politicians and feel they have the right to change our Constitution without any input from the American people. When will your state representatives make you aware of any changes? After they have been made!
Are these decisions being made based on political advantage? Are the politicians who claim to represent the people making decisions based on their own welfare? Will the “National Popular Vote” bill truly reflect the wish of the people, or will it serve as a tool to save some politician’s job or his party?
You decide….but be sure to contact your local representative and let them know that we demand to be informed about decisions that will ultimately effect our vote, our lives and our Constitution!
Leigh Bravo blogs at The Trumpet. • (2648 views)