Usurping the Electoral College: Yea or Nay?

I had been watching the Colorado vote on using the national popular vote in a presidential election to assign their electoral college votes. Essentially whoever wins the popular vote would be assigned Colorado’s electoral vote.

The legislation was passed in March and signed by the governor on March 15th. This bill makes Colorado the 11th state to use the national popular vote to assign their electors. But is this a good idea?

I understand the sentiment…and more than a few progressives and liberals think the electoral college stymied the actual desires of the voters in 2000 and 2016. And they are correct…but is this the proper method to fix the issue?

If the overall national sentiment is to replace the electoral college with the results of the popular vote…shouldn’t the lawmakers put forth a Constitutional Amendment rather than back door similar results? I realize the states get to pick how they apportion their electors, but this end run trend is a little troubling.

I haven’t taken a position on this…other than it troubles me that we are being a bit devious in an attempt to circumvent the Constitution. And I am not sure how I would react if Wisconsin took up the issue.

But it isn’t really settled yet…the legislation has its own backdoor and will only be implemented if enough states adopt the program to provide the minimum 270 electors. Well to me that’s a whole new issue as the number of electors per state is wont to change after every census…hmmmm.

The state’s legislation would only take effect if enough other states sign on to secure the cumulative 270 electors needed to elect a president, and Colorado’s votes raise the current total to 181 electors. Most states have winner-take-all laws in place dictating that their electors go towards whichever candidate takes the state’s popular majority, while Maine and Nebraska opt to proportionally split their electors based on the vote.

The eleven other states that have signed on — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state — as well as the District of Columbia and now Colorado, make up the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

And does something like this make it even harder for a third party to break into presidential elections? Right now a very strong local candidate could pick up their home state electors…in a national winner take all they’d have no chance.

So, actually, I’d like to hear your ideas on this National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.


Related Articles