Electoral College (United States)

Could the Electoral College Become a Thing of the Past?

ElectoralCollege2012Ever since the founding of the United States, the Electoral College system has been used to decide the winner of Presidential elections.

But if a plan quickly making its way through state legislatures across the country gets enough support, the Electoral College – as we’ve known it throughout history – would be scrapped, and the winner would be based only on the national popular vote.

It may seem difficult to imagine, but here’s how the proposed plan would work.

This proposal – known as the Popular Vote Movement – involves an Interstate Compact where states would commit to select electors pledged to vote for the national popular vote winner, regardless of how their own state voted.

Nine states and the District of Columbia (which cast a combined 136 electoral votes) have joined this compact: Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Vermont, California, and Rhode Island.

Both houses in New York have passed this bill and it’s on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

It’s already passed in the House in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon. These states and New York represent 107 votes; combined with the others they add up to 242 votes.

If enough states pass this law to get at least 270 electoral votes (the majority of the Electoral College, and the number necessary to win a Presidential election), it will take effect.

Although this legislation is close to becoming reality, it’s not quite a done deal. It’s passed in the House in Arkansas and North Carolina (both red states), but not the Senate.

This bill is an end run around the regular constitutional amending process. Instead of requiring a two-thirds majority of each house of Congress and three-quarters of the states, this proposal would take effect when a simple majority approve it.

And the Electoral College system, which has been part of our representative republic, will be modified and converted to a pure democracy.

Who’s behind this bill and movement? It’s funded, in part, by the Center for Voting and Democracy – a George Soros-funded election group.

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