The Electoral College May Finally Be on Its Way Out

For all of the groans about the Electoral College overruling the national popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, it seems like an unfortunate reality this country is stuck with — short of a far-fetched constitutional amendment. In recent weeks, however, it’s sure starting to feel like the tides might actually change.

Because states determine how their presidential electors ultimately cast their votes — as evidenced by Maine and Nebraska awarding their votes by congressional district, rather than winner-takes-all –  there might be a feasible way to undermine the Electoral College without an amendment.

STATES CAN UNDERMINE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a solution where states sign on to pledge their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, rather the winner of the state’s vote. So far, 12 states and the District of Columbia have joined the compact, which could prove to be a total game changer.

At first glance, it may appear risky for states to become early adopters before enough other states agree to join, but the NPVIC has that covered. States are not bound to this agreement until the participants combine to have at least 270 electoral votes-worth of power, hence ensuring that such finagling would result in the popular vote winner becoming president.

When this movement kicked off back in 2007, the 270-vote threshold seemed like a pipe dream. With Colorado joining the pact this week, the current total sits at 181. It’s an especially exciting addition, given that Colorado is the first swing state to sign on.

This week, Delaware’s House also approved a bill to join NPVIC, though the state will still require a successful vote in the state Senate and a signature from the governor to get in on the action. Either way, with just three electoral votes up for grabs in Delaware, NPVIC will need more heavy-hitters to actually move the needle.

For that reason, locking in the change by 2020 seems like a long shot — but 2024 is possible, depending how the next presidential election shakes out.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

In addition to the work happening at the state level, national political figures are also warming to the idea. Senator Kamala Harris says she’s “open to the discussion” of ditching the Electoral College, while Beto O’Rourke thinks there’s “a lot of wisdom” to the notion. Fellow presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg claims, “It’s gotta go, we need a national popular vote.”

No one is beating the drum louder than Senator Elizabeth Warren, however. As she travels across the country campaigning for her own candidacy, Warren is devoting a lot of time to rallying all who will listen against the Electoral College — and she even started a petition to that effect.

Granted, most of the talk is coming from the left, as Republicans are well aware that they benefit from the disproportionate electoral vote allocation of the current system. Even President Donald Trump, who just years ago said the Electoral College is a “disaster for democracy,” now sees the advantage for him and considers it “better for the U.S.A.” than the popular vote.

For a guy who hates transparency, the president sure isn’t hard to read.

Take Action!

To show your support for making the popular vote reign supreme, sign this Care2 petition to put a stop to the Electoral College nonsense. Better yet, why not start a petition of your own to help convince your state legislators to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

 

Photo Credit: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

64 comments

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld1 months ago

JOAN E.,
So true. Both political parties have them so confused that they do not know what to do. It is all part of the game to consolidate power.

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Brian F
Brian F1 months ago

The Electoral College needs to go like the Democrats unfair Super Delegate rule, which gives party insiders the power to determine elections. Its absolutely disgusting that the Democrats who are supposed to be honest, would have such an unfair rule which is cheating. However after the Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and caused this crook Trump to win, its clear that the Democrats could care less about ending their corruption. The Democrats are so corrupt, they would rather lose to this crook Trump, than win with an honest progressive like Bernie Sanders.

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Julie D
Julie D1 months ago

The Electoral College definitely needs to be abolished. There is no need of any such entity and it has simply become a means of cheating us of our votes and corrupting our voting system. There is no explanation that can convince me that it is OK for a vote in California is counted as 1/3 of a vote, but vote in Montana is counted as a full vote. The voter in California is not just 1/3 of a citizen, nor do they pay 1/3 less taxes, on fact they most likely pay more. Voter proclivities are quite diverse everywhere. Not everyone in every state votes the same, even people in the same families don't vote the same. There is no reason for the Electoral College to exist in this day and age. It should be one person = one EQUAL vote, period. Winner by popular vote. That is the only way to hold a fair election. We have been given 2 illegitimate Republican presidents courtesy of the Electoral College now. Enough is enough. Time to put an end to it.

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Joan E
Joan E1 months ago

Lee J, it looks to me like there still is a large illiterate group of voters in this country. Some of them can decipher words but have been so thoroughly lied to by propagandists that they don't know how to vote in their own self-interest.

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Joan E
Joan E1 months ago

Putin and Trump are two of the best reasons to get rid of the Electoral College. Neither one of them should have had any part in the US election that Putin let Trump "win" by hacking into the vote of several well-chosen state elections. Trump and Putin would not have been able to do that if every vote from every voter in every state counted equally.

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Hannah A
Hannah A1 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Janet B
Janet B1 months ago

Thanks

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Ruth S
Ruth S1 months ago

Thank You!

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Ruth S
Ruth S1 months ago

Thank You!

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Lisa M
Lisa M1 months ago

Not soon enough.

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