Breaking the Electoral College in Two Simple Steps
Michael Ott

Your proposal is essentially a shortened version of the National Popular Vote compact however, your’s has a major flaw. Any law passed by the states can be changed by those states at a later date. California and Texas could both pass laws as you suggest but there isn’t anything that prevents them from changing the law back to their current status between election day and the day the EC delegates cast their votes either.

As an example, here in MA it was law for decades that if a federal senate seat came open mid-term, the Governor would appoint a replacement to finish the rest of the term. Then Sen. Ted Kennedy (a Democrat) died in 2009. At the time, Mitt Romney (a Republican) was Governor. The State legislature (which is ~85% Democrats) immediately passed a bill changing the law to require a special election to ensure that Romney couldn’t appoint a Republican to fill Kennedy’s seat. Romney vetoed the bill and was promptly over-ridden. A special election was held and Scott Brown, a Republican, won that election so that kinda backfired on them.

Then in 2013 years later Sen, John Kerry (and other Democrat) became Sec. of State. By that point Deval Patrick (a Democrat) was Governor and the State legislature didn’t want to get embarrassed with another Special Election so they changed the law back to having the Governor appoint his replacement.

There is nothing in your proposal that would prevent a State from doing the same sort of thing with the EC delegate allocation. The NPV attempts to control this by requiring states to notify all signatory states of their intent to withdraw and preventing them from doing so until after the President is chosen.

Your proposal would be a huge mistake for Democrats as things sit right now. If implemented, candidates would change their campaign strategies to focus on gaining the highest popular vote count instead of focusing on the EC delegate count. That would shift the focus from those hated “swing states” to the population centers. Democrats would collect more individual votes in States that they already win by large margins at the expense of individual votes in less populous states. Any one of those less populous states could then change their law back to eliminate the NPV count from consideration and throw the election.

Beyond that, there are 538 EC delegates and a candidate needs 270 of them to win. Republicans have either full control of both the legislatures and Governor’s office (aka a “trifecta”) in 26 states and veto-proof legislative majorities in another 2. Those states just happen to control exactly 270 EC delegates. Once States start tinkering with EC delegate allocations the door is open for them to simply change their State laws and say that their EC delegates will go to the Republican candidate in any future Presidential election and that would be the end of any election process at all.

I believe Texas would follow suit because if there’s anything conservatives hate it’s liberals unquestionably staking out the moral high ground.

That line of thinking hasn’t worked for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and I don’t see it working here either. The NPVIC has passed in 10 States + DC. All of those states are states that are sure locks for Democrats and MD was the 1st state to pass it 10 years ago. Not one Republican leaning state has signed on.

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