Opponents of the Electoral College seek to alter a process that has worked for well over two hundred years. Unable to get two-thirds of the states to consider altering this part of the Constitution as required, some seek an end run around it instead. They say that the Electoral College is not democratic enough. They call their plan the National Popular Vote Plan. In it participating states would allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than the winner of the popular vote in their state.
There exists no language in the Constitution authorizing a popular vote for the executive branch of government. Such came about in 1824 after the Electoral College denied the presidency to Andrew Jackson, the most popular man in America due to his success in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. His supporters, believing the denial to be an injustice, created a straw vote so that the people could participate in the election although this vote had no power.
Over time the media empowered it by treating it as the “legitimate” vote for the president belittling the College process as unfair and undemocratic. Seldom do they remind us that it works because we are not a democracy, but a Republic, and that none of the branches of government are democratic; most especially the Senate and Supreme Court. Andrew Jackson had to wait until he could convince the seasoned citizen voters of the Electoral College that he was not too emotional for the office. He did so four years later in 1828. Moreover, today the media seldom cover the real election for the president in December such is their disdain for it.
Those unable to get a two-thirds vote to begin the process of altering the Electoral College have conceived a brilliant plan to do just that without the constitutional amendment required. The plan is to have each state legislature commit their state to support the national popular winner instead of the candidate winning their state. When enough states do so that the Electoral College numbers exceed 270, remaining states will be required to support as well. Wham!! Almost without any public debate outside state legislatures, and seemingly overnight, the popular vote will replace the Electoral College as the means by which a president is elected. We would be back to a few highly populated states deciding for the rest of the country.
Ironically proponents ignorantly use a small portion of the Constitution to destroy a larger portion. They cite Article II, Section 1 which reads, “Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” This, they say, gives state legislatures the right to award their electors as they see fit. Actually, the phrase allows the state legislatures appointing powers only. To suggest that they should have influence over their voting once selected, nullifies the reason for their existence. The Electoral College was to be a non-governmental body completely separate and unaccountable to the State Legislature once appointed, as per the rest of the section. Certainly the phrase did not authorize states to simply alter or dump Article II, Section 1 and Amendment 12 of the Constitution.
Moreover, the National Popular Vote Plan also violates Article I, Section 10. This prohibits states from entering into “alliances” with other states unless Congress gives its consent. Certainly agreeing states have entered into an alliance with one another to nullify the Electoral College and the vote of states immediately following reaching the simple majority of Electoral College votes.
At present eight states and the District of Columbia, a combined electoral vote total of 132, have come on board delivering about half the 270 electoral votes needed to impose this upon the rest of the country and nullify a long standing pillar of the Constitution. States voting to change the Constitution without amending it, as required by the document, are: New Jersey 14, Wash 12, Hawaii 4, Illinois 20, Vermont 3, Maryland 10, Mass. 11, DC 3, CA 55. Colorado is likely to be next.
Granted the Electoral College is the most difficult part of the Constitution to understand and is easy to oppose because it is undemocratic. Spend some time to understand it. A patriot and constitutionalist will see through the scheme to destroy it without the debate and transparency required in Article V. No end run around this document should ever be permitted.
Latest posts by Harold Pease (see all)
- How Relevant is the Constitution in State, County, and City Elections? - June 17, 2016
- States should not sue the Federal Government over Transgender Bathrooms - June 5, 2016
- Why does the Federal Government “Own” Oregon? - January 16, 2016