“26 states’ electors are bound by state laws to vote in a specific way, so this idea of negotiation becomes even more complicated and subject to individual states gaming the new system with their rules.”
While they are bound — they are not absolutely bound. The penalties deter them from voting against the results, but they are still able to and encouraged when considering the Federalist Papers. This aspect of electors negotiating their votes away would not need any change in order to happen. Current electors could act in this same way. It simply doesn’t happen due to the winner-take-all method ensuring that the slate of electors all belong to the winner’s party.
“…the main problems with our elections . . . and, in this case, how to interpret the results of the state’s vote to award electoral votes.”
While consistency may be considered a problem — it can also be considered a benefit. The benefit of allowing states to decide how to resolve differences is that it defers local governance to the people of that region thereby giving them more autonomy. NPV actually denies people that level of autonomy by effectively circumventing the electoral college, which leaves it open it up to legal challenges. Although given that each state is given the authority to decide how to use its electors — I suspect it would be upheld. Honestly, I think the primary problem with our elections is that most people don’t bother to inform themselves nor participate in elections — especially at the local and state levels. Additionally, it doesn’t help that we’ve demonized our opposing parties rather than participating in their primaries/discussions to shape their politics. I suspect if Democrats and Republicans participated largely in the other’s primaries the 2016 election would’ve been between Sanders and Kasich.
“…introduce the variable of some fractional, possibly extreme party potentially getting huge power if they have enough electoral votes to swing an election.”
This is meant to really function in the same way coalition governments do. It seems quite effective and not as extreme as described. By including smaller parties to form a larger one, parties are forced to be more inclusive, which would be the quintessential example of Democracy in action.
“ Analyzing all of the machinations and permutations to understand the final results of a state driven proportional voting system seems almost impossible. In addition, one must consider the future stream of changes as state legislatures try to find ways to gain more leverage for their states, or refuse to give up whatever built-in advantages they currently enjoy.”
I’d be more concerned with an NPV system where one or two states can repeal it’s NPV law and revert the whole country back to an electoral winner-take-all state-by-state system in order to favor their candidate.