Another Constitutional Erosion: Bypass the Electoral College

New York Magazine: Electoral College One Step Closer to Death

With the signing of legislation passed today, Massachusetts will become the latest state to join the National Popular Vote movement, an interstate compact among states who agree to give their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote. The compact will only take effect once enough states sign on so that their collective electoral votes surpass 270, the minimum number required for a presidential candidate to win. With Massachusetts joining Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington, that number is now up to 73. (New York’s Senate passed the bill last month, but Sheldon Silver has yet to bring it up for a vote in the Assembly.) Even though Massachusetts is one of many states routinely ignored by presidential candidates under the current system, not all the lawmakers there are comfortable with change. According to the Boston Globe, “Senate minority leader Richard Tisei said the state was meddling with a system that was ‘tried and true’ since the founding of the country.” Tried, yes. True? Is that a joke?

Mass. Legislature approves plan to bypass Electoral College

Listen to 7-27-2010 Mark Levin Show explain why this would hurt the country- here

Daniel Lowenstein teaches Election Law, Statutory Interpretation & Legislative Process, Political Theory, and Law & Literature. A leading expert on election law, he has represented members of the House of Representatives in litigation regarding reapportionment and the constitutionality of term limits. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the award-winning theatre troupe Interact and regularly brings the company to the School of Law to perform plays with legal themes, such as Sophocles’ Antigone, Ibsen’s Rosmerholm, and Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.

Professor Lowenstein worked as a staff attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance for two and one-half years. While working for California’s Secretary of State, Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 1971, he specialized in election law, and was the main drafter of the Political Reform Act, an initiative statute that California voters approved in 1974, thereby creating a new Fair Political Practices Commission. Governor Brown appointed Professor Lowenstein as first chairman of the Commission. He has served on the national governing board of Common Cause and has been a board member and a vice president of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.


Justice Antonin Scalia: The US Constitution is ‘Dead’

One Response to “Another Constitutional Erosion: Bypass the Electoral College”

  1. Check out this radio interview I found out of Wisconsin.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. The National Popular Vote bill does not try to abolish the Electoral College Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President (for example, ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote), including current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments.

    “A survey of 800 Massachusetts voters conducted on May 23-24, 2010 showed 72% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    Voters were asked

    ‘How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current electoral college system?’

    By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 86% among Democrats, 54% among Republicans, and 68% among others. By gender, support was 85% among women and 60% among men. By age, support was 85% among 18-29 year olds, 75% among 30-45 year olds, 69% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65.

    Massachusetts voters were also asked a 3-way question:

    ‘Do you prefer a system where the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states on a nationwide basis is elected President, or one like the one used in Nebraska and Maine where electoral voters are dispensed by Congressional district, or one in which all of the state’s electoral votes would be given to the statewide winner?’

    The results of this three-way question were that 68% favored a national popular vote, 16% favored awarding its electoral votes by congressional district, and 16% favored the existing statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of a states electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

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