How to Marry the Popular Vote to the Electoral College

In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush got the White House through the Electoral College. Lightning has struck again just 16 years later with Hillary Clinton apparently winning the popular vote but losing in the Electoral College. If you review the history of this archaic institution brought to us by Alexander Hamilton, you will find it was expressly intended to take the right of ordinary citizens to elect their president and place it in the hands of the elites. Landed gentry rather than the unwashed masses should choose, Hamilton thought.

Some might assume a constitutional amendment might be necessary to make the popular vote the winning vote. Not so! Through a clever pact agreed to, so far, 11 states, the popular vote CAN determine the outcome. Note that this is a bipartisan effort of both red and blue states–Arizona and Oklahoma along with California and New York, for example. Here is the deal, state legislatures passed laws that prescribe that electors in their states must vote in the Electoral College for the candidate that wins the popular vote in the national election (all 50 states plus DC). The Electoral College casts their ballots on the first monday following the second Wednesday of December (that itself seems ridiculously complicated calendaring, but that’s the law).

The electoral vote count of the 11 states that have agreed so far has reached 61% of the 270 vote total needed to select the President. Once enough states agree to this plan to attain 270 votes, the agreement will take effect and the popular vote will rule!

Want to see this happen? Check out the National Popular Vote website and contact your elected state officials to encourage them to join the group if they haven’t already. Yes, they could revoke the agreement at some point in the future, but this is a way quicker and easier way to achieve the desired  result than the cumbersome constitutional amendment process.

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