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National Popular Vote clears CA lower house

by Jack Santucci // Published May 31, 2006
California today joined Illinois, New York, Louisiana, Missouri and Colorado as a state taking significant legislative action to establish a direct election of the President. Sponsors plan to introduce the interstate compact in Vermont and Arizona.

L.A. Times via Kansas City Star:

Under a bill passed by the Assembly, California would join an interstate compact, under which states would agree to cast their electoral votes not for the winner in their jurisdiction but nationwide. Proponents argue that would force candidates to broaden their reach to major population centers such as California.

The same paper offered a great commentary on April 9:

IMAGINE THAT the Constitution devised by the founders decreed that the presidency went to the winner of the popular vote. Now imagine that some reformers came along and proposed to scrap the popular vote and replace it with a convoluted process involving an electoral college that, among other bizarre flaws, gave the citizens of some states far more voting power than others and allowed for the candidate who didn't get the most votes to win the presidency. Would anybody take them seriously? No, they'd be laughed out of the room.

Some have called the National Popular Vote plan an "end run" around the Constitution. Others have declared it a partisan plot to let big states call the shots, despite its bipartisan support and endorsements.

[...]Rep. John T. Doolittle of California was sufficiently exercised to write, on the conservative blog redstate.org: "The left in America is nothing if not creative. Knowing that they can't beat us using existing election law, they have started a state by state effort to change the rules so their 'blue' states can unilaterally decide who will win the highest office in the land. The left-wing politicos in America know that turning the national elections into populist referendums will benefit their candidates."

I'm not taking Doolittle out of context here. This is his argument in its entirety. Doolittle seems to think that the blue states alone can impose this change. But, of course, the blue states don't have the needed 270 electoral vote majority, which is why, as Doolittle may have noticed, Republicans occupy the White House.

For the research behind the National Popular Vote campaign, see fairvote.org/presidential.

Addendum

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