Progress toward replacing the Electoral College with National Popular Vote

Previous posts on this blog have explained how the Electoral College frustrates honest democracy by over-weighting low-population states (which tend to produce Republican majorities) and under-weighting high-population states (which tend to produce Democratic majorities).  This partisan imbalance has caused several Republican presidents to get elected by Electoral College majorities, even though they lost the popular vote.  Trump is the latest example.

Fortunately, a number of people and non-profit organizations have been pushing to replace the Electoral College with a National Popular Vote.  Changing the U.S. Constitution is a horrendously huge, slow process that is not likely because the Senate (which suffers from the same partisan weight distortion by giving low-population states grossly disproportionate power in the U.S. Senate — the same number of Senators (2) as high-population states) will refuse to support this constitutional change.

The U.S. Supreme Court is dominated by five right-wing extremists who were appointed by Republican presidents. Four of those right-wing Supreme Court justices were appointed by presidents who had lost the popular vote but won through the Electoral College.

This is yet one more example of why the entire nation must amend the Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote.

A quicker, practical remedy is that Washington State and a growing number of  other states have committed to requiring their Electoral College votes to go to whoever won the national popular vote.

Here are some updates on the progress we are making:

In mid-May 2019 the Maine Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill 19-16, thus becoming the 39th state legislative chamber to do so. The bill now goes to the Maine House.  Also, Minnesota’s House passed a bill that is now in a conference committee.

Legislation for a National Popular Vote would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

As of May 14, 2019, 15 states have enacted the bill into law — most of them very recently. These 15 states possess 189 electoral votes — 81 short of the 270 electoral votes that the bill needs to take effect.  Efforts are underway in other states.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among several U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the national popular vote. Once states totaling 270 electoral votes pass laws to join the compact—and states totaling 189 electoral votes have already done so-—then the NPVIC goes into effect and the next presidential election will be determined by the popular vote.