The 2016 presidential election has opened many old wounds — not the least of which is a few swing states controlling an entire election. Twice now in 16 years, the popularly chosen candidate (first Al Gore and now Hillary Clinton) has not become president. As a result, the move for refinement of current election rules is back by popular demand.
One of the most interesting and viable efforts ongoing for the last several years has been crafted by the National Popular Vote organization. Lead by self-proclaimed Republican John Koza, this an important bipartisan effort that ensures our democracy stays just that — a nation lead by those duly elected by the majority of the people.
This movement is viable because it does not require any type of constitutional amendment. How electoral votes are distributed is clearly a state right, and this move asks states to voluntarily agree to give all their votes not to the winner of their state’s election, but to the overall national popular vote winner. On the surface, one would assume that this type of inter-state compact/agreement would not be possible. Your assumption would be wrong. To date, 11 states representing 165 electoral votes have passed the measure. Once enough states with the needed 270 electoral college votes pass the measure, it becomes a de facto law and popularly elected presidents will again become the norm.
Wondering where your state stands on adopting this proposed legislation? Check it out at http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/state-status. Not surprisingly Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio have not enacted the legislation while California, New York, New Jersey and eight other states have. But don’t assume that it’s only a coastal initiative. Currently the bill has been passed by the state senate of Oklahoma and the state house of Arizona.
Concurrently, outgoing California Senator Barbara Boxer is introducing legislation, not for the first time, to abolish the electoral college altogether. Her method is not likely to work, but the National Popular Vote movement is gaining momentum. While the U.S. has long stood as a beacon for democracy world-wide, Trump is now the 5th president elected without the popular vote, and the beacon is getting blurred. Countries such as China were using the divisive election as a case study for a one party state even before the latest outcome. In contrast, the National Popular Vote effort truly can “Make America A Shining Beacon for Democracy Again.”
What You Can Do: Go to nationalpopularvote.com and put your zip code into the box that looks like this:
When you hit “Go” you’ll be taken to a suggested, prewritten letter to auto send to your legislators to encourage their vote for the measure. If the letter doesn’t suit your intended tone, there are suggested alternatives.
Tweetable: #LetEveryVoteCount – Support the National Popular Vote movement @nationalpopularvote.com