With little fanfare and nearly no national media attention, the National Popular Vote effort is now 61 percent of the way toward its goal of legally bypassing the Electoral College established in the U.S. Constitution.
Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the National Popular Vote, or NPV, bill, making his state the 11th jurisdiction to enact the plan. With the passage of the bill, the interstate compact now has 61 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to put it into effect.
The NPV campaign seeks to obtain the consent of the majority of the 538 votes in the Electoral College to award electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead of the winner of the popular vote in each state.
Aside from New York, other states that already signed up are the heavily blue states of Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Vermont, California and Rhode Island. The District of Columbia also has joined the pact.
The states will not be required to award their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner until the NPV has signed up enough states to garner 270 electoral votes.
After Cuomo’s signing of the law, the New York Post warned in an editorial the NPV effort could “undermines small-d democracy.”
The Post quoted then Sen. John F. Kennedy stating, “Direct election would break down the federal system under which states entered the union, which provides a system of checks and balances to ensure that no area or group shall obtain too much power.”
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Others have warned a national popular vote could ultimately lead to more voter fraud, arguing the Electoral College isolates the impact of such fraud to each state.
The Founding Fathers firmly rejected a purely popular vote to elect the president, because they wanted to balance the power of the larger and smaller states. The Electoral College was fashioned as a compromise between an election of the president by direct popular vote and election by Congress.
Now the NPV effort could change the way Americans elect the president without amending the U.S. Constitution. The plan simply requires that enough states join through votes in their legislatures along with gubernatorial approval.
It takes two-thirds of both the House and Senate to pass a constitutional amendment to repeal the Electoral College.
To bypass the constitutional amendment process, NPV minimizes the number of states that would need to agree. Instead, once enough states agree to allot its electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, the Electoral College becomes irrelevant.
The NPV effort is fully partnered with a George Soros-funded election group, as WND was first to report.
The group, the Center for Voting and Democracy, received original seed money in 1997 from the Joyce Foundation, a nonprofit that boasted President Obama served on its board at the time of the grant. Obama was a board member from July 1994 until December 2002.