With the near instantaneous reporting of votes we enjoy today, the next president could be elected before the polls close west of the continental divide on Election Day.
How is this possible? Through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
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According to NationalPopularVote.Com:
"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 been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes—61% of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it, including four small jurisdictions (RI, VT, HI, DC), three medium-size states (MD, MA, WA), and four big states (NJ, IL, NY, CA). The bill has passed a total of 33 legislative chambers in 22 states—most recently by a bipartisan 40–16 vote in the Arizona House, a 28–18 vote in the Oklahoma Senate, a 57–4 vote in New York Senate, and a 37–21 vote in Oregon House."
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact represents a threat to the constitutionality of our government by creating a de facto interstate body of "Chief election official(s)" whom will direct each states' electoral votes irrespective (and possibly in direct opposition) of how the voters of their state decide. While considered by many as narrowly consistent with the language of the Constitution, this initiative clearly defies the intent of the framers which was already clarified in the first paragraph of the 12th Amendment.
Even more disconcerting: this measure passed both houses in Arizona and was voted for and sponsored by some of the most conservative legislators. Arizona House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Montenegro (R) was primary sponsor in the House bill and Arizona State Sen. Don Shooter (R) sponsored the concurrent senate bill.
For more detail I’ll take you to the published summary of the bill passed in the Arizona House of Representatives titled "Agreement among the States to elect the president by national popular vote":
"Requires the chief election official of each member state to:
a. determine the number of votes for each presidential slate;
b. add the votes together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate;
c. designate the presidential slate with the largest national popular vote as the “national popular vote winner”;
d. treat an official statement containing the number of popular votes for each presidential slate as a final determination conclusive as to the counting of electoral votes by Congress; and
e. immediately release to the public all vote counts or statements of votes as they are determined or obtained.
Requires the presidential elector certifying official of each member state to:
a. certify the appointment of the elector slate nominated in association with the national popular vote winner;
b. certify, in the event of a tie for the national popular vote winner, the appointment of the elector slate nomination with the presidential slate receiving the largest number of popular votes.
Declares that the presidential candidate designated as the national poplar vote winner has the power to nominate the presidential electors for that state if the number of presidential electors nominated is less than or greater than that state’s number of electoral votes.
a. requires certification of the nominees appointment by the state’s presidential elector certifying official.
Requires each member state to:
a. make a final determination of the number of popular votes cast for each presidential slate; and
b. communicate an official statement of determination within 24 hours to the chief official of other member states."
If the legal-ese is a little thick (and I had to read it a few times so don’t feel bad) here’s the breakdown: If this compact were in effect in 2008 and 2012 than electoral votes in states that voted Republican would have gone to Barack H. Obama.
The rules of the compact would have required the electors to vote in contradiction of the voters in their states. And here is another thought for you: time zones move east to west and the majority of the U.S. population lives east of the Mississippi river.
As I stated before, it could be all over while the west coast is still voting.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact strikes at the very heart of our federalist republic. While the compact does not completely eliminate the Electoral College, it completely obliterates the balance between our most and least populous states.
Such a measure inches us just a little closer to a simple democracy which is de facto mob rule. Furthermore, this Interstate Compact will surely face astonishing judicial scrutiny for its clear intent to circumvent the United States Constitution. Here’s where a spider comes along: such a challenge will no doubt reach The Supreme Court of the United States. With Justice Antonin Scalia gone and the fate of the nomination hanging in the balance, our nation is more at risk today than it ever has been.
If our nation is to come to an end, it will be because we voted it out of existence, with a simple national majority.
The offices of House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro and Sen. Shooter have not responded to requests for comment.
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