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Author Topic: Major campaign underway to nullify Electoral College  (Read 80333 times)
Landslide Lyndon
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« Reply #100 on: March 28, 2009, 11:57:03 am »
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The fact that David Broder opposes this measure makes me think that it must be a very good idea.

Also, if it is a partisan issue then why the hell the Republican governors of California, Vermont and Rhode Island vetoed it?
Do they seriously expect that their party might lose the popular vote but win their states?
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« Reply #101 on: April 05, 2009, 03:29:00 pm »
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The pace to nullify the EC is picking up, so far this year:

Colorado House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
New Mexico House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Arkansas House, Washington House, and Vermont Senate Pass National Popular Vote Bill


I think there is a good chance this plan will be in effect by 2012



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« Reply #102 on: April 05, 2009, 03:33:45 pm »
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The pace to nullify the EC is picking up, so far this year:

Colorado House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
New Mexico House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Arkansas House, Washington House, and Vermont Senate Pass National Popular Vote Bill


I think there is a good chance this plan will be in effect by 2012

It has the same chance as I have of getting laid by 2012 Tongue
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« Reply #103 on: April 05, 2009, 07:39:28 pm »
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The pace to nullify the EC is picking up, so far this year:

Colorado House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
New Mexico House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Arkansas House, Washington House, and Vermont Senate Pass National Popular Vote Bill


I think there is a good chance this plan will be in effect by 2012


Even if enough states pass it, don't forget that tthis is done by state statute. Any legislature that doesn't like the way 2012 might turn out can just as easily repeal their state law before the electors would be certified. Only a constitutional amendment can change the system and not leave it open to partisan whim.
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« Reply #104 on: April 07, 2009, 12:55:59 pm »
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Peoples' responses in this thread have been very illuminating. The assumption that the Constitution is inviolate and should not be edited is so deep-seated that people refuse to question it, even when challenged to do so. It's simply taken as an article of faith that the precious, sacred Holy Scripture should not be altered and that addenda are "just as good" even though they would not suffice for any normal document revision process. Imagine how confusing it would be to use a textbook where all manner of changes and mistakes were deliberately left in the text, and corrections were done by notes in the appendix.

Frankly, an actual revised constitution would make more sense. It always seemed absurd to me that they add amendments to it as addenda and not by actually amending the document. It goes to the quasi-religious way Americans treat our Constitution: it is considered sacrosanct and cannot be altered, so they add new books to it, like Christians creating a New Testament.

From now until the day America crumbles as a nation, the Constitution will always have that ridiculous text in it about certain people being worth only 3/5 of a person, thanks to this quasi-religious mentality.
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« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2009, 12:40:46 am »
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The pace to nullify the EC is picking up, so far this year:

Colorado House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
New Mexico House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Arkansas House, Washington House, and Vermont Senate Pass National Popular Vote Bill


I think there is a good chance this plan will be in effect by 2012

It has the same chance as I have of getting laid by 2012 Tongue

it can creep up on you, brother
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« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2009, 12:44:31 am »
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The pace to nullify the EC is picking up, so far this year:

Colorado House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
New Mexico House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
Arkansas House, Washington House, and Vermont Senate Pass National Popular Vote Bill


I think there is a good chance this plan will be in effect by 2012


Even if enough states pass it, don't forget that tthis is done by state statute. Any legislature that doesn't like the way 2012 might turn out can just as easily repeal their state law before the electors would be certified. Only a constitutional amendment can change the system and not leave it open to partisan whim.

I'd imagine that if this compact was in effect, there would be less resistance to amending the Constitution. Of course, that's a much tougher hurdle, seeing as 13 low population states can block it. It should be noted that one low population state already passed it, Hawaii.
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« Reply #107 on: April 12, 2009, 08:20:28 pm »
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Even if enough states pass it, don't forget that tthis is done by state statute. Any legislature that doesn't like the way 2012 might turn out can just as easily repeal their state law before the electors would be certified. Only a constitutional amendment can change the system and not leave it open to partisan whim.

Not legally they can't. If a state wants to pull out of the compact they have to do so 6 months before the election. Otherwise, they are locked in for that election and would be breaking the compact if they did not allocate use the electors of the popular vote winner.
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« Reply #108 on: April 12, 2009, 08:31:34 pm »
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Even if enough states pass it, don't forget that tthis is done by state statute. Any legislature that doesn't like the way 2012 might turn out can just as easily repeal their state law before the electors would be certified. Only a constitutional amendment can change the system and not leave it open to partisan whim.

Not legally they can't. If a state wants to pull out of the compact they have to do so 6 months before the election. Otherwise, they are locked in for that election and would be breaking the compact if they did not allocate use the electors of the popular vote winner.

Generally a legislative act cannot bind a future legislature from changing that act. Other states cannot generally bind a legislature from withdrawing from an interstate compact. I'm also not sure how binding the compact is before the nominees are selected and their electors are filed on the ballot.

In IL special legislation was needed in 2004 and 2008 to allow for the GOP electors to be on the ballot since the convention was after Sep 1. Rules that provided for ballot access could not overcome that, so the law was amended.
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« Reply #109 on: April 13, 2009, 03:04:40 am »
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I'm completely in favor of popular vote, but there's two big concerns I have regarding this:

1) I haven't been following this thread closely, but I think this is the same as moun's concern. What if it becomes advantageous for a state to withdraw from the compact between Election Day and the voting of the electors? Let's say one party is entirely in control of the legislative process in a state that has signed on to the compact. Under the compact system a candidate of the other party is about to be elected President. However, should that state withdraw from the compact, the electoral votes turn out in a such a way as to give the Presidency to the other party (the one in control of the legislative process in the state that I mentioned earlier). What do we do if the Legislature convenes and shoves through a law withdrawing that state from the compact? Talk about chaos and division. But the other reason is an even greater concern of mine:

2) Let's say the national margin is extremely close - something like 0.25% or closer. Something that, under normal circumstances, would demand a recount. Would there be a recount conducted? There aren't any laws on the books that say there would be. What if some states stated conducting recounts to verify their results but others didn't? What if some counties started conducting recounts to verify their results but others didn't? The entirety of the motivation would be partisan gain of course, and we'd be potentially talking about hundreds to thousands of court cases in hundreds of jurisdictions and courts around the country simultaneously. Then what if, come December 15th, the outcome is still in doubt? Certain electors think that a certain candidate is ahead, certain candidates think another one is, certain electors think they should ditch the compact, certain electors aren't even a part of a state that's in the compact... I could go on and on about the potential problems that could arise in a situation like this for several more paragraphs but I think you all get the idea.
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« Reply #110 on: April 13, 2009, 08:05:33 pm »
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muon2 and VP Meeker, according to national Popular Vote it is unconstitutional for a state to pull out of the compact during the aforementioned 6 month period (which is actually prior to innauguration, not the election like I had said). For sure this would be a court challenge. But presumably many Constitutional lawyers have assured them this is very much binding.

http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/faqitem.php?f=19

Quote
What Would Happen If a State Withdrew from the Proposed Compact for Partisan Political Reasons between the November Voting and the Meeting of the Electoral College in Mid-December?

The proposed compact has a "blackout" period (of approximately six months) on withdrawals. This "blackout" period starts on July 20 of a presidential election year and continues until a President or Vice President are qualified to serve the next term (normally on January 20 of the following year).

The purpose for the delay in the effective date of a withdrawal is to ensure that a withdrawal will not be undertaken—perhaps for partisan political purposes—in the midst of a presidential campaign or, even more egregiously, in the period between the popular voting in early November and the meeting of the Electoral College in mid-December.

An interstate compact has the specific advantage of making the obligations of the participating states into a legally enforceable contractual obligation. Of course, legal enforceability is most relevant in the event that the winner of the nationwide popular vote did not carry states having a majority of the electoral votes (as occurred, say, in 1824, 1876, 1892, and 2000). A state whose legislature and governor are controlled by a political party whose presidential candidate who did not win the nationwide popular vote could, in the absence of an enforceable restriction on withdrawal, abandon its obligations at the precise moment when they would matter. However, once a state enters into an interstate compact, a state is prevented from unilaterally nullifying the compact because the impairments clause of the U.S. Constitution. The impairment clause provides that "No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts." Instead, a party to a contract (i.e., an interstate compact) must withdraw from the agreement in accordance with the agreement’s provisions for withdrawal. Most interstate compacts contain provisions that delay the effective date of a state’s withdrawal by a certain amount of time that is appropriate given the nature of the compact. The proposed compact limits withdrawal during the sensitive six-month time window of the presidential election period.

The six-month "blackout" period covers the following six important events relating to presidential elections: (1) the national nominating conventions, (2) the fall general election campaign period, (3) election day on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, (4) the meeting of the Electoral College on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, (5) the counting of the electoral votes by Congress on January 6, and (6) the scheduled inauguration of the President and Vice President for the new term on January 20.
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« Reply #111 on: April 13, 2009, 09:04:57 pm »
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muon2 and VP Meeker, according to national Popular Vote it is unconstitutional for a state to pull out of the compact during the aforementioned 6 month period (which is actually prior to innauguration, not the election like I had said). For sure this would be a court challenge. But presumably many Constitutional lawyers have assured them this is very much binding.

http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/faqitem.php?f=19

Quote
What Would Happen If a State Withdrew from the Proposed Compact for Partisan Political Reasons between the November Voting and the Meeting of the Electoral College in Mid-December?

The proposed compact has a "blackout" period (of approximately six months) on withdrawals. This "blackout" period starts on July 20 of a presidential election year and continues until a President or Vice President are qualified to serve the next term (normally on January 20 of the following year).

The purpose for the delay in the effective date of a withdrawal is to ensure that a withdrawal will not be undertaken—perhaps for partisan political purposes—in the midst of a presidential campaign or, even more egregiously, in the period between the popular voting in early November and the meeting of the Electoral College in mid-December.

An interstate compact has the specific advantage of making the obligations of the participating states into a legally enforceable contractual obligation. Of course, legal enforceability is most relevant in the event that the winner of the nationwide popular vote did not carry states having a majority of the electoral votes (as occurred, say, in 1824, 1876, 1892, and 2000). A state whose legislature and governor are controlled by a political party whose presidential candidate who did not win the nationwide popular vote could, in the absence of an enforceable restriction on withdrawal, abandon its obligations at the precise moment when they would matter. However, once a state enters into an interstate compact, a state is prevented from unilaterally nullifying the compact because the impairments clause of the U.S. Constitution. The impairment clause provides that "No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts." Instead, a party to a contract (i.e., an interstate compact) must withdraw from the agreement in accordance with the agreement’s provisions for withdrawal. Most interstate compacts contain provisions that delay the effective date of a state’s withdrawal by a certain amount of time that is appropriate given the nature of the compact. The proposed compact limits withdrawal during the sensitive six-month time window of the presidential election period.

The six-month "blackout" period covers the following six important events relating to presidential elections: (1) the national nominating conventions, (2) the fall general election campaign period, (3) election day on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, (4) the meeting of the Electoral College on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, (5) the counting of the electoral votes by Congress on January 6, and (6) the scheduled inauguration of the President and Vice President for the new term on January 20.

I've heard that, but has the impairment clause been shown to trump other constitutional rights? For instance Art 2, Sec1 says "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, ..." which gives the state legislature supreme authority over its electors. I'm not convinced that a legislature can give away that right, especially if a future legislature wishes to exercise it in a different manner.

OTOH the specific FAQ referenced a potential change post election. Many if not all states would prohibit a late change in electors through their own state laws and decisions. I would expect it to be difficult to change the method once the electors are selected for the ballot after the convention, since they would be governed by the rules at the time they were filed.
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« Reply #112 on: April 15, 2009, 11:59:13 pm »
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FWIW (repost from Washington thread)

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The Washington State House just passed the National Popular Vote Compact 52-42 (it previously passed the Senate 28-21). It appears to have been amended in the House though, so back to the Senate it goes.
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« Reply #113 on: April 16, 2009, 12:56:34 am »
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FWIW (repost from Washington thread)

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The Washington State House just passed the National Popular Vote Compact 52-42 (it previously passed the Senate 28-21). It appears to have been amended in the House though, so back to the Senate it goes.

The web page for the bill shows no amendments that were passed. It should go to the Gov next.

Some of the proposed amendments were quite interesting and might be improvements to the bill. However, a change in one state would render it useless until other states in the compact also accepted the change.
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« Reply #114 on: April 16, 2009, 04:19:52 pm »
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FWIW (repost from Washington thread)

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The Washington State House just passed the National Popular Vote Compact 52-42 (it previously passed the Senate 28-21). It appears to have been amended in the House though, so back to the Senate it goes.

The web page for the bill shows no amendments that were passed. It should go to the Gov next.

Some of the proposed amendments were quite interesting and might be improvements to the bill. However, a change in one state would render it useless until other states in the compact also accepted the change.

Odd... it said last night that there was an amendment adopted.

Anyways, I suspect Gregoire will sign it.
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« Reply #115 on: April 23, 2009, 03:08:47 am »
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FWIW (repost from Washington thread)

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The Washington State House just passed the National Popular Vote Compact 52-42 (it previously passed the Senate 28-21). It appears to have been amended in the House though, so back to the Senate it goes.

The web page for the bill shows no amendments that were passed. It should go to the Gov next.

Some of the proposed amendments were quite interesting and might be improvements to the bill. However, a change in one state would render it useless until other states in the compact also accepted the change.
I liked Amendment 629 best of all.
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« Reply #116 on: April 28, 2009, 09:23:00 pm »
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Bill is now passed in Washington. 61 ev under the compact. 23% of the way there.
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« Reply #117 on: May 03, 2009, 04:37:30 pm »
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Hm. To me, it seems that there's a problem with a bare majority of the states deciding to completely change the way we elect a President, especially if the other states have opposed this compact. I really don't want half the states telling the other half of the states that they don't have a say anymore, especially if they have rejected this compact.
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« Reply #118 on: May 10, 2009, 11:06:53 am »
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Hm. To me, it seems that there's a problem with a bare majority of the states deciding to completely change the way we elect a President, especially if the other states have opposed this compact. I really don't want half the states telling the other half of the states that they don't have a say anymore, especially if they have rejected this compact.

It strikes me that this is exactly why this plan is against the spirit of the Constitution. As you point out this would create a system where a number of states with the majority of electors decide the system for electing the President, effectively overruling the method in the Constitution. The appropriate means to change a constitutionally defined system is to amend the Constitution, but that requires 3/4 of the states as well as 2/3 of each branch of Congress. The proponents feel they have found a loophole that allows the constitutional system to be avoided.

The second problem is that in a close election, the voters of a state adopting this method may well feel disenfranchised. Essentially the legislature of the state has given away their power to determined the status of their electors to the will of the whole 50 states. Suppose you were a Democrat in IL in 2004 and Ohio had narrowly voted for Kerry instead of Bush. The compact then would have forced your state's electors to vote for Bush, even though Kerry carried your state by a large margin. My guess is that you would not have been be very happy at all with the result.
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« Reply #119 on: May 12, 2009, 11:54:01 pm »
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Hm. To me, it seems that there's a problem with a bare majority of the states deciding to completely change the way we elect a President, especially if the other states have opposed this compact. I really don't want half the states telling the other half of the states that they don't have a say anymore, especially if they have rejected this compact.

They don't have a say right now. The system is that every state legislature can decide in whatever manner they desire how to choose their Presidential electors. No state can change this.

Having a popular vote plurality election to allocate all of a state's electoral votes is a perfectly legal way of doing things should a state choose to do so. It's also 100% against the way the founding fathers intended this rule. Remember that. We're already exploiting a loophole to make things democratic. This just takes it one step further.
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« Reply #120 on: May 13, 2009, 06:51:45 pm »
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Having a popular vote plurality election to allocate all of a state's electoral votes is a perfectly legal way of doing things should a state choose to do so. It's also 100% against the way the founding fathers intended this rule. Remember that. We're already exploiting a loophole to make things democratic. This just takes it one step further.

I wouldn't argue that the founders intended to be anti-democratic in the selection of the electors.  Except for the 1789 election where the process of choosing the Federal government was still being established, and 1800 where several state legislatures chose to not trust their voters and paid the price as a result, there have been a majority of electors elected by the voters.

What the founders had no conception of was of party politics.  That has had a greater effect upon the Presidential election process than the gradual adoption of universal suffrage.
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« Reply #121 on: May 14, 2009, 09:27:14 pm »
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I wonder how many states will sign onto this before it starts getting major media attention.  Right now, nationwide passage looks so distant that hardly anyone cares about this issue.  It gets essentially no media coverage.  But what if we get to a point where states representing, say, 180 electoral votes have signed on?  The media might start to notice that the country's electoral system is potentially on the brink of changing.  It might actually become an issue that people care about, and the nature of the debate in the remaining states would take on a different flavor.

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« Reply #122 on: May 18, 2009, 07:29:03 pm »
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I wonder how many states will sign onto this before it starts getting major media attention.  Right now, nationwide passage looks so distant that hardly anyone cares about this issue.  It gets essentially no media coverage.  But what if we get to a point where states representing, say, 180 electoral votes have signed on?  The media might start to notice that the country's electoral system is potentially on the brink of changing.  It might actually become an issue that people care about, and the nature of the debate in the remaining states would take on a different flavor.



When California becomes member of the pact, then perhaps they will take notice.
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« Reply #123 on: June 05, 2009, 08:02:49 pm »
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Having a popular vote plurality election to allocate all of a state's electoral votes is a perfectly legal way of doing things should a state choose to do so. It's also 100% against the way the founding fathers intended this rule. Remember that. We're already exploiting a loophole to make things democratic. This just takes it one step further.
I wouldn't argue that the founders intended to be anti-democratic in the selection of the electors.  Except for the 1789 election where the process of choosing the Federal government was still being established, and 1800 where several state legislatures chose to not trust their voters and paid the price as a result, there have been a majority of electors elected by the voters.

What the founders had no conception of was of party politics.  That has had a greater effect upon the Presidential election process than the gradual adoption of universal suffrage.
Arguably 42 of 69 electors appointed in 1789 were popularly elected to some extent.  In Massachusetts the voters nominated 2 electors from each of 8 districts which the legislature chose between, and in New Hampshire, electors needed a majority.  Since none received a majority, the legislature chose the electors.
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« Reply #124 on: August 29, 2009, 04:14:13 am »
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I can't wait for this to go into effect.
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