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  • Writer's picturePeter Serefine

National Popular Mutiny Compact

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact was begun over legitimate concerns, but the agreement exacerbates the problem it was designed to solve.

There are multiple efforts underway to fundamentally change the system of government in the United States. The alarming number of people who support outright socialism is on the rise. A less inflammatory but equally disruptive movement is beginning to attract some attention. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has 174 of the 270 electoral votes it needs to effectively neuter the electoral college. If allowed to be enacted, this agreement will elect US Presidents by the national popular vote. Even more frightening, the national popular vote completely ignores the will of the individual states and the votes of the individuals within a state. The people of a state could vote 95% for one candidate but still see all of their electoral votes go to a different candidate. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact effectively sheds the fabric of our republic and stands in direct opposition to our very form of government.

Like many political movements, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has its roots in a legitimate problem. Also like many political issues, the proposed solution makes the problem even worse. The compact began because 48 states have 'all or nothing' policies for awarding electoral votes. Only two states award electors in any proportional way. That has lead to presidential candidates focussing all of their efforts on winning only battleground or swing states. For example, during the 2012 general election campaign, all 253 campaign events were held in only 12 states. 38 states were ignored because their vote was a foregone conclusion. With a popular vote compact, instead of all of the campaign being focussed on the limited number of swing states, the focus will just shift to the limited number of populous states.

Rather than just shift the problem focus from one group of states to a different group of states, there are other ways to actually fix the problem. The most logical solution would be for states to abandon the 'winner take all' system of awarding electoral votes and return proportional vote allotment. The simple way would be just utilizing the percentage of the popular vote. If candidate A wins 60% of the popular vote in a given state, then they earn 60% of the electoral college vote in that state.

A slightly more complex, but far more effective proportional vote would be utilizing the congressional districts. Each state has the same number of electoral votes as members of Congress. Using Pennsylvania as an example, Pennsylvania has 18 members of the House of Representatives and 2 Senators, so they have 20 electoral votes. 18 of those votes could be awarded by district. The candidate that wins each district wins that district's electoral vote. That will leave 2 electoral votes unclaimed which could be awarded to the winner of the statewide popular vote. So if candidate A and candidate B each win 9 of the 18 congressional districts, they would each earn 9 electoral votes with an additional 2 'bonus' electoral votes going to whichever candidate wins the statewide popular vote. This solution guarantees that every vote in every district in every state has a clear and direct effect on the electoral votes. This solution is both republican and democratic.

In conclusion, lobby your state to oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Urge your state to return to a proportioned system of awarding electoral votes. Propose a bill in your state that awards electoral votes by congressional district.

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