National Popular Vote Compact Sets Dangerous Precedent

By Jim O’Connor

Very soon the Arizona Legislature will consider HB 2456 and SB 1218. There are numerous arguments in opposition to these bills:

The NPV is unconstitutional.

Members of our State House & Senate need to consider the unintended consequences of joining a coalition of states, which set out to exploit the “compact mechanism” of the U. S. Constitution, to create “national change” permitted only through the “Amendment” process.

For its intended purposes the NPV Compact is not suited for State action, as it is far more than an agreement between two states or among several states, which is historically the appropriate application of “compacts” under our U. S. Constitution.

If passed, these Bills will cause Arizona to become the first “Red State” to join 10 Democratic States & D. C. in their coalition through use of a “compact” which currently controls 165 Electoral Votes.

Arizona conducts Presidential Preference Primary elections for its citizen voters to determine who wins the popular vote within our state, and Arizona “electors” are duty bound to cast their Electoral Votes for the winner. Is it the jurisdiction of our legislature to turn over Arizona’s Electoral Votes to a group of states with dissimilar interests to those of Arizona?

The NPV Compact will effectually circumvent the “safeguards” provided by the Electoral College, which has preserved our great republic for the past 240 years.

Our U. S. Constitution provides a deliberate mechanism to set obstacles between the will of the popular majority and the minority needing protection from it.

The NPV Compact will accelerate fraud, not reduce it. Democrats control big cities and blue states. History shows they turn a blind eye to voter fraud.

Those same big cities and blue states will dominate the popular vote, as campaign messaging together with more “free stuff” would be focused on high density urban areas.

States rights will be further undermined by an NPV Compact, in that 35 of our 50 states would be ignored by Presidential candidates as their state electoral votes would not be needed.

Legislators contemplating support for these Bills please consider the counsel of John F. Kennedy, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” Our Founding Fathers strategically placed “fences” within our Constitution for balancing power among the branches of the federal government and the states

24 Comments

  1. The bill is sponsored by 2/3rds of the Republicans om the Arizona House of Representatives.

    On Feb. 12, 2004 the Oklahoma Senate passe the bill by a 28 – 18 margin.

    ACORN filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in November 2010, closing the organization.

    Supporters of National Popular Vote include Newt Gingrich, Tom Tancredo, and former Senator Fred Thompson.

  2. Any voting plan that is enthusiastically endorsed by dimocrat Communist Party of America is wrong for America. Remember ACORN, which is still very active across the country? Remember obamao’s ’12 re-election campaign committee, that was immediately morphed by IRS into a non-profit dimocrat arm of ACORN? Remember the obamao DOJ that wants to crush every state’s attempts at voter integrity?

    Nope, anytime you hear the dimocrats say “we can work together on this” you’d better get your back against the wall. They don’t need our help – they are doing a pretty good job of destroying US already.

    God bless America.

  3. State winner-take-all laws negate any simplistic mathematical equations about the relative power of states based on their number of residents per electoral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, or to presidents once in office.

    In 2012, 24 of the nation’s 27 smallest states received no attention from presidential campaigns after the conventions despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. The 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and visits from the major party candidates than the 42 million eligible voters in the 27 smallest states combined.

  4. A nationwide presidential campaign with every voter equal would be run the way presidential candidates campaign now to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states. In the 4 states that accounted for over 2/3rds of all general election campaign activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention — roughly in proportion to their population. When and where every voters is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    The political reality is that the large states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. Among the 4 largest states, the 2 largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin on 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the 2 largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) generated a margin on 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states (each with 15 electoral votes).

    Utah (5 electoral votes) generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.

    8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

  5. The 38 states that are irrelevant cannot become “more” irrelevant.

    In the 2012 general election campaign
    $320 (three hundred twenty) was spent on ads in in California. No visits.
    $55,600 in New York. No visits.
    $0 and 0 visits in Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Alaska, Mississippi, Washington, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, and DC.
    Insignificant ad spending and 0 visits in Oklahoma, Idaho, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, Maine, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maryland.

    Arizona (11 electoral votes) has not been relevant, either. $40,350 was spent in 2012. No visits.

    Meanwhile
    Ohio – $148 million, 73 visits.
    Florida – $175,776,780, 40 visits
    Virginia (13 electoral votes) – $127 million, 36 visits
    Iowa (6 electoral votes) – $51,423,030, 27 visits
    Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) – $32 million, 18 visits
    Minnesota (10 electoral votes) – $8,771,300, 1 visit
    Colorado (9 electoral votes) – $71 million, 23 visits
    Nevada (6 electoral votes) – $55 million, 13 visits
    New Hampshire (4 electoral votes) – $34 million, 13 visits

  6. NPV will make high population States more important and low population States even more irrelevant. States like California and New York will dominate the election more than now since the total number of votes a State like Arizona would cast is dwarfed by those big States. Arizona and other low voter States will not have any relevance unless the total vote is extremely close. Arizona’s Electoral College vote is more significant in the Presidential election since it is a larger percentage of the total than the voting population of Arizona is of the total voting population.

  7. National Popular Vote is states using their exclusive constitutional power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

    Now, issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them.

    Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just 12 states.

    Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to battleground states when it comes to governing.

    Battleground states receive 7% more federal grants than spectator states like Arizona. Twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

    The powers of state governments are neither increased or decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

  8. National Popular Vote ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Every vote would matter in the state counts and national count.

    Candidates would reallocate their organizing efforts, time, the money they raise, and their ad buys to no longer ignore 80% of the states and voters.

  9. In Arizona in the 2012 general election campaign, only $40,350 was spent on ads, and there were no campaign events.

    Florida had $175,776,780 in ad spending and 40 visits.
    Ohio had $148 million in ad spending and 73 visits.

    In 2012, 38 states were ignored because they were politically irrelevant. 2/3rds of the general election campaign events, and a similar fraction on campaign expenditures were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa).

    In 2016, there are only expected to be 7 states that will be fought over — OH, FL, VA, IA, CO, NH, NV.

  10. With National Popular Vote, bit cities would not get all of the candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.

    1/6 of the U.S. lives in the top 100 cities, and they voted 63& Democratic in 2004.

    1/6 lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and rural America voted 60% Republican.

    The remaining 4/6 live in the suburbs, which divide almost exactly equally.

    A nationwide presidential campaign with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida. The big cities in those states do not receive all the attention or control the outcome. In the 4 states that accounted for over 2/3rds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention — roughly in proportion to their populations.

    Every candidate in every other election in the country knows, when and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With National Popular Vote, 99% of polling, organizing, ad spending and visits would not be showered on voters in just 10 states where the candidates were not hopelessly behind or safely ahead, as it was in 2012.

  11. With the current system, a small number of people in a closely divided battleground state can potentially affect enough popular votes to swing all of that state’s electoral votes.

    We have seen how 537 votes, all in one state, determined an election where there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

    The current system maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, mischief, and coercion. A very few people can change the national outcome with a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state.

    A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.

    The closest popular vote election count over the last 130 years of American history (in 1960) had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes. The closest electoral vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state.

    For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be 200 times closer than the 1960 election — and in popular vote terms, 40 times closer than 2000 itself.

    Which system offers fraudulent voters a better shot at success for a smaller effort?

  12. In the 2012 presidential election, 1.3 million voters decided the winner in the 10 states with the closest margins of victory.

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the “mobs” or protect the minority.

    Analysts already conclude that only the 2016 party winner of FL, OH, VA, NV, CO, IA, and NH (with 86 electoral votes among them) is not a foregone conclusion. They will dominate and determine the presidential general election.

    Without National Popular Vote in effect, Arizona will continue to be among the vast majority of states and voters that will be politically irrelevant.

    • looks like the “analysts” (whoever they are) got it wrong (again). The “foregone conclusions” “Blue Wall” of PA, WI, MI (46 electoral votes) provided the margin of victory for Trump. Without them he would still have lost despite picking up 53 of 86 (my math says 85, but no matter) electoral votes in your toss up states.

  13. “The bottom line is that the electors from those states who cast their ballot for the nationwide vote winner are completely accountable (to the extent that independent agents are ever accountable to anyone) to the people of those states. The National Popular Vote states aren’t delegating their Electoral College votes to voters outside the state; they have made a policy choice about the substantive intelligible criteria (i.e. national popularlity) that they want to use to make their selection of electors. There is nothing in Article II (or elsewhere in the Constitution) that prevents them from making the decision that, in the Twenty-First Century, national voter popularity is a (or perhaps the) crucial factor in worthiness for the office of the President.” — Vikram David Amar

    In state polls of voters, each with a 2nd question that specifically emphasized that their state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, not necessarily their state’s winner, there was only a 4-8% decrease of support.

  14. The National Popular Vote bill has passed in 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican, and purple states with 250 electoral votes, including one house in Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, and both houses in Colorado.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range — in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    Most Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    • If there is such strong support for selecting the President by national popular vote it should be relatively easy to amend the Constitution to replace the Electoral College with the National Popular Vote. So why do you have to sneak this in the back door with the National Popular Vote bill which requires a much lower level of support (conceivably less than half of the states) as opposed to the more direct (honest) approach of a 38 state approval (required to ratify an amendment to the Constitution). Most Americans also wanted an amendment to the Constitution to select Senators by popular vote which diminished the power of states to a have a voice in the central government, effectively eliminating or at least greatly diminishing one of the important checks and balances provided to us by the Founders. I suspect that most Americans do not realize that the US is a representative republic rather than a pure democracy or understand the difference. Given the liberal indoctrination of our education system this lack of knowledge is only compounding with time.

  15. Compacts are often used on a nationwide basis. For example, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and the Interstate Compact on Juveniles are examples of compacts adhered to by all 50 states and DC.

    Powerball is operated by the Multi-State Lottery Compact.

  16. The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely, action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

    As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in all of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. Maine and Nebraska have different laws. Over the years, states can, and have, changed their laws for how to award their electoral votes.

  17. Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founders left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section I of the Constitution:

    “Each State shall appoint in such Manner as the Legislature therof may direct, a Number of Electors . . . ”

    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e. appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislators for almost a century.

    In 1789, only 3 states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes. All 3 states repealed their laws by 1800.

    The current winner-take-all method is not in the Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founders make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

  18. A survey of Arizona voters showed 67% overall support for the idea that the President should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    National Popular Vote allows individual states to use their unqualified and absolute constitutional right to have the Electoral College accomplish a goal that more than two-thirds of Americans, throughout the country, have consistently supported since polling began in 1944.

    States enacting the bill replace their district or state winner-take-all laws, to guarantee every vote, everywhere in every election matters to the candidates, is equal and counts, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes used by 2 states, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founders. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by states of winner-take-all or district winner laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubber stamps for presidential candidates. This is not what the Founders intended.

    The Founders in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the votes of their citizens.

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