Anti-Electoral College plan almost two-thirds there

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chad Groening (

voter casting a ballotA legal scholar says it's clear that Democrats are trying to eliminate the Electoral College without going through constitutional amendment process.

Many Democrats are still incensed that Hillary Clinton, their presidential candidate in 2016, won the popular vote but lost where it counted – in the Electoral College. Democrats have long opposed the Electoral College because with overwhelming margins of victory in high-population states like California they could dominate future presidential elections based on the popular vote.

Hans von Spakovsky is senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission. He says a movement going on in all 50 states sponsored by the National Popular Vote, an advocacy group in California, claims they can get rid of the Electoral College's effects by having the states agree to a state compact.

"The state compact they are pushing is for state legislatures to agree that in future presidential elections they will not award the Electoral College votes of their state according to whichever presidential candidate got the most votes in their state," he explains. "Instead they would award their Electoral College votes to whichever candidate won the national popular vote."

According to the National Popular Vote website, 11 states (plus the District of Columbia) have enacted the law, representing 172 electoral votes: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – all Democrat-controlled states. Colorado is expected to join this group soon, bringing that count up to 181.

von Spakovsky, Hans (Heritage)Introduced in various years in all 50 states, the law also has been passed by one legislative chamber in nine other states; passed by both legislative chambers (but in different years, thus not enacted) in two states (Colorado is one of those); been given a hearing by at least one legislative committee in 16 states; and been given no hearing at all in 11 states.

But von Spakovsky explains the compact would not go into effect until enough states have passed it, representing 270 electoral votes – the number needed for a presidential candidate to declare victory. He believes a constitutional amendment, not a compact of states, is the only way to eliminate the Electoral College.


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