Progressives Try Again To Circumvent Constitution

Filed Under (The HELL You Say!) by admin on 27-07-2010

Drastic change in works to revamp whole Electoral College

Democrats have found yet another way to circumvent the U.S. Constitution: Bypass the Electoral College and elect the president by popular vote without passing an amendment to the founding document.

The Massachusetts Senate has joined five other states in passing a National Popular Vote bill to do just that. It approved the legislation on July 15 by a margin of 28-10.

The National Popular Vote, which already passed the Massachusetts House, is within one final “enactment vote” in the Massachusetts Senate before the measure can be ready for the governor’s signature, the Boston Globe reported.

“Under the proposed law, all 12 of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally,” according to the report.

The idea is that Massachusetts will instruct its electors in the Electoral College to vote for the candidate receiving the majority of presidential election votes nationally, regardless of how the state’s own voters cast their ballots.

The Massachusetts National Popular Vote bill, if signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick, will not go into effect until states possessing a majority of Electoral College votes pass similar legislation.

The movement is popularly characterized as “One Person, One Vote for President,” a slogan designed to suggest the Electoral College method of counting presidential votes is “unfair” under a 14th Amendment “One Vote, One Person” definition of voter rights.

Critics fear the movement, if successful, could turn the entire nation into a potential “Florida 2000” battleground in close elections.

“Even in states where a candidate lost by a huge margin, every vote would need to be examined, a catastrophic, costly scenario,” John Cork wrote in the New York Times.

“It would become possible, in a three-party race, for a candidate to fail to win even a single state but take the popular vote,” he continued. “Do we really want to create a system where New York electoral votes could be determined by voters in Utah or Alaska?”

National movement to circumvent the Constitution

A national movement to pass National Popular Vote legislation in the state legislatures had been motivated by Democrats who remain fixated on the idea that George W. Bush “stole” the 2000 presidential election, supposedly by relying on a Supreme Court decision to get Florida’s electoral votes. They say the decision denied Al Gore the presidency, even though Gore got the majority of popular votes cast throughout the United States.

Once enough states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of the 538 electors nationally) have enacted similar laws, the presidential candidate winning the most votes nationally would be assured a majority of the Electoral College votes, regardless of how other states vote or how their electors are distributed.

Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington have already adopted national popular vote bills and the movement has established a website at NationalPopularVote.com.

These states add up to 61 electoral votes, 23 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the legislation: Illinois, 20 electoral votes; New Jersey, 15 votes; Hawaii, 4 votes; Maryland, 10 votes and Washington State, 11 votes.

The National Popular Vote movement is already one-fourth of the way toward accomplishing its goal.

The group’s website lists the following selling points for a national popular election of the president:

* The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia).

* The bill has passed 30 legislative chambers in 20 states (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington).

* In the recent 52-7 New York State Senate vote on the bill, Republicans supported the bill by a 22-5 margin (with three not voting) and Democrats supported it by a 30-2 margin.

* The bill has been enacted by state legislatures representing 61 electoral votes 23 percent of the 270 necessary to activate the law (Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington).

* The bill has been endorsed by 1,922 state legislators.

* The shortcomings of the current system stem from the winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state).

* Because of the winner-take-all rule, a candidate can win the presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in four of the nation’s 56 presidential elections. Near-misses have been common. A shift of fewer than 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.

The website does not mention that the proposed legislation would circumvent the Constitution, making the smaller states largely irrelevant in the selection of a president because they will have an insufficient number of voters to make an appreciable difference in the national popular vote.

Defies the intent of the Founding Fathers

The National Popular Vote movement turns upside-down the concerns the Founding Fathers had that the rights of the individual were to be paramount and that the states would remain sovereign to a federal government that was constituted to have limited power, confined to enumerated powers, as is made clear by the Ninth and 10th Amendments.

The movement, if successful, would minimize the rights of voters in smaller states by eliminating entirely the impact of electors in the Electoral College voting for president the winner of the popular vote in each state.

Critics charging that the Electoral College is undemocratic in that not each vote in the popular vote is given the same weight forget that our Founding Fathers were intent upon constituting a constitutional republic, largely because they feared the abuses inherent in popular majority democracies.

If the National Public Vote movement succeeds, the president might be chosen by the popular vote winner in 10 or 11 of the most populous states.

The group’s website claims polls show strong support:

Alaska: 70 percent
Arkansas: 80 percent
California: 70 percent
Colorado: 68 percent
Connecticut: 74 percent
District of Columbia: 76 percent
Delaware: 75 percent
Florida: 78 percent
Idaho: 77 percent
Iowa: 75 percent
Kentucky: 80 percent
Maine: 77 percent
Massachusetts: 73 percent
Michigan: 73 percent
Mississippi: 77 percent
Missouri: 70 percent
New Hampshire: 69 percent
Nebraska: 74 percent
Nevada: 72 percent
New Mexico: 76 percent
New York: 79 percent
North Carolina: 74 percent
Ohio: 70 percent
Oklahoma: 81 percent
Pennsylvania: 78 percent
Rhode Island: 74 percent
South Dakota: 75 percent
Utah: 70 percent
Vermont: 75 percent
Virginia: 74 percent
Washington: 77 percent
Wisconsin: 71 percent
West Virginia: 81 percent

The website claims the editorial support of much of the mainstream media, listing among the newspaper supporters the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Boston Globe and Miami Herald.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books THE OBAMA NATION: LEFTIST POLITICS AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY and the co-author of UNFIT FOR COMMAND: SWIFT BOAT VETERANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST JOHN KERRY. He is also the author of AMERICA FOR SALE, THE LATE GREAT U.S.A., and WHY ISRAEL CAN’T WAIT. Currently, Dr. Corsi is a Senior Managing Director in the Financial Services Group at Gilford Securities as well as a senior staff writer for WorldNetDaily.com.

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