Letter: National Popular Vote is a no-brainer
The National Popular Vote (NPV) does not replace the Electoral College System; it enhances it by allowing states to delegate their votes as they see fit, which is supported by the U.S. Constitution. The president and vice president are the only political positions that are not elected by popular vote. NPV allows for one person equals one vote.
The presidential election is the only race where the candidate with the most votes can lose. It has happened five times in our country’s history and twice in my adult lifetime. That is a failure rate of about one in 12. At present a red vote in California and a blue vote in Wyoming don’t count, and a vote in California does not hold the weight that a vote in Wyoming has. This is un-American, leading to voter apathy.
Currently, presidential candidates focus on a handful of battleground states to determine the outcome of an election. These states receive attention to their issues, unbalanced grant money and congressional pork. Colorado is becoming a blue state. Under the current system, we will no longer have the attention of the candidates.
The National Popular Vote has long had bipartisan support. The NPV advisory board has included senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle. Presidents Nixon, Carter, and Ford endorsed the concept of nationwide popular election of the president, as did President George H. W. Bush and former Senator Bob Dole. Among other supporters are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rep. Tom Tancredo, and the Conservative Party of New York.
There has been at least one sponsor in the U.S. House or Senate for nationwide popular election of the president from all 50 states. 3,125 state legislators from all 50 states have endorsed the bill — either as sponsors or legislators who have cast recorded votes in favor of the bill on the floor or in committee.
NPV has already passed in both Colorado’s House and Senate in different years. It has been adopted in eleven states and the District of Columbia totaling 172 electoral votes. It only needs to pass in about 10 more states totaling 98 electoral votes to reach the majority number of 270 electoral votes and then the NPV compact goes into effect. It doesn’t matter which states join the NPV.
The intent of our nation’s founders was to ensure that delegates, who were more informed than the general public, could eliminate demagogues from the presidency. An African American male was only counted as a percentage of a person, women didn’t have a right to vote and there were only a handful of states. Our public is now well informed. Information is available on the phone in your pocket, and we are afforded the opportunity to vote by mail.
Under a National Popular Vote, it won’t matter whether you vote in a big state or a small one, it will only matter that you vote. Instead of campaigning in battleground states, candidates will be forced to campaign in a battleground nation, representative of all.
Linda Petrie Bunch