It was thought to be a once-in-a-100-years anomaly, but twice in the last five presidential elections, the 538 members of the Electoral College have erased the will of the majority in the election of our nation’s president.
When the Founding Fathers established the Electoral College, they envisioned it to stop the masses from electing someone unqualified for the office and to guard against foreign influence in our elections.
This idea of government came from men long before access to news was ubiquitous, and long before our nation considered allowing voting for black people and women.
It seems unlikely the Electoral College will be dissolved (constitutional amendments are daunting), but the rules that govern its voting process are more flexible than most of us know.
Nebraska and Maine long ago chose a different, proportional method of counting electorates. The possibility does exist that the prevailing system — where states cast all of their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the state’s popular vote — could change.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) would have states give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
Don’t assume it would throw the vote to liberal urban centers.
As of this past December, 10 states and the District of Columbia have said yes to NPVIC. This is over 30 percent of the Electoral College, and more than 60 percent of the votes needed to give it legal force. Twelve more states have passed it in at least one chamber. That includes bipartisan votes in Arizona, Oklahoma and New York.
If you’re a resident of a red or blue state with opposite political persuasion, NPVIC may help you feel that your vote matters. When all states are shades of purple, campaigning candidates may choose not to fly over so many of them.
In 2006 and 2007, the Colorado Senate approved NPVIC, and in 2009 the Colorado House approved it.
NPVIC will again be introduced in our state’s Legislature this session. Now is a good time to research and build your own conclusions before the hyperbole begins.
Sonia Koetting, Fort Collins