The Electoral College has become the boy favorite for Democrats who believe it provides an advantage to their Republican rivals.
Republicans twice in the past 20 years have won the presidency after finishing second in the popular vote – and this year, at least for a day or so after the election, it looked like it might happen again.
We even hear talk these days about getting rid of the Electoral College.
But is this realistic? After all, the Electoral College is constitutionally mandated. To get rid of it would require a constitutional amendment, a difficult process requiring confirmation by two-thirds of both the House and Senate and then approval by at least 38 states.
Make a majority rule case
However, a bipartisan group believes they have a solution that will keep the Electoral College in place and, at the same time, provide a mechanism to ensure that only the top vote-holders become president.
The National Interstate Charter for Popular Voting (NPVIC) seeks an agreement between enough states to commit to a final round of the Electoral College.
The plan is simple: Each state commits in the charter to give all of its electoral votes to whoever wins the popular election – not to the winner in its state.
With 538 electoral votes allocated to each state and District of Columbia based on population, the magic number of presidential candidates is 270 electoral votes. The idea behind the charter is that when it has enough member states to total at least 270 electoral votes among them, it will remove the Electoral College from the commission.
15 countries have signed up
NPVIC argues that this will ensure majority rule and provide an incentive for voters, who will then know their vote matters. As it is, national elections are determined by a few states where races are known to be close and where parties invest their resources. Outside of those battleground states, voters may not feel compelled to vote.
NPVIC has been around for a few years and is gaining traction, although it still has a long way to go. On November 3, Colorado voters Ballot scale passed To join NPVIC, making it 15thThe tenth The state to do so, along with the District of Columbia. Together, the NVPIC members now represent 196 electoral votes.
NPVIC argues that it will remove the influence of some swing states, however Face opponents Swiping it will create a different kind of effect. They contend that the NPVIC plan means that candidates will focus their efforts on the places with the most votes: megacities in densely populated states like California and New York.
Critics also argue that the NPVIC plan may be unconstitutional – courts can find it undermining the separate country-by-country voting as required under the United States Constitution.
It also seems clear that there may be significant political risks when a country that strongly supports Candidate A hands over its electoral votes to Candidate B who is despised in that state.
Vote in check
As it is today, the voter has it in sparsely populated Wyoming 3.6 times the voting power of a California voter. If the Electoral College is flawed because it creates this kind of disparity, and if the NPVIC is flawed as well, are there other alternatives?
Some people think the best alternative is Voting by selection ranked. This method will replace the traditional, all-in-one winner with a system that reflects the will of the voters. Voters will be able to rank the candidates in order of preference. If no candidate reaches 50% in the first count, the candidate with the least support is disqualified, and then the second or even third voter options enter.
This year, Maine became the first state to implement the ranking vote in a presidential election. Maine has four electoral votes, two of them conferred on a statewide voting basis and one for each of two congressional districts. In the end, Maine divided its electoral votes: three for President-elect Biden and one for President Trump.
Around Twenty municipalities They are now using ranked choice vote, and their numbers are increasing. However, the day when this method gains widespread acceptance seems more distant from the day when it makes true majority rule (as the NPVIC envisages) a relic of the Electoral College.
Like it or not, we’ll probably still be using the Electoral College four years from now – warts and everything.