If We Had A National Popular Vote, Election Fraud Would Become A Lot Harder
Posted On April 7, 2022
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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One issue that some conservatives get, but others don’t, is that sticking to the old system where a few key swing states decide elections isn’t going to allow Republicans to become president much longer. Demographics are changing, and even if you’re an election fraud denier, Republicans are losing ground in some of the swing states. In 2012, Republicans made up 37% of registered voters in Maricopa County, Arizona, to Democrats’ 28%. Now, Republicans are down to 34% and Democrats have increased to 30% (there are now as many independents as Republicans).
This is why it’s overdue to start considering the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would award 270 electoral votes and therefore the presidency to the candidate who wins the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The battleground states used to be ones like Colorado and Virginia. Democrats have made a lot of ground there — although Virginia may not be quite a lost cause if Gov. Glenn Youngkin is more than an off-year fluke — and now the Democrats have made enough inroads into Arizona and Georgia that they’re the big battleground states.
Changing the Constitution?
Many conservatives have a knee-jerk reaction to NPV, believing it would require changing the Constitution and abolishing the Electoral College, and assume it will favor Democrats since many Democrats – including AOC and Elizabeth Warren – support that similar, but critically different, proposal. But none of that is true once you thoroughly examine how the compact would work.
It doesn’t require a constitutional amendment and doesn’t even need congressional approval, since the Constitution allows for interstate compacts. This is how it is gradually being adopted by several states now. There is a myth that the current method used by 48 states to elect presidents is the Electoral College. That’s just not accurate. In fact, the Constitution is completely silent on a method for states to award electors. Most states use what’s called the winner-take-all method; others, Nebraska and Maine, use a congressional district method. Over the course of American presidential elections, states have used a variety of methods. That’s federalism. And if states don’t like how it’s going, they can always withdraw from the compact.
State Laws Differ From Federal Laws
Winner-take-all per state are state laws; they are not part of the Constitution, were never debated by the 1787 Constitutional Convention, or mentioned in the Federalist Papers. The Founding Fathers never agreed on the state winner-take-all model – there were fiery debates over it. For the first presidential election in 1789, only three states had state winner-take-all laws.
Critics complain about the tyranny of the majority while saying nothing about the fact we currently have a system that is tyranny of the battleground states. If you are part of the 69% of Americans who live in the rest of the country, it’s like your vote doesn’t even count. We’re essentially electing a president of the battleground states.
Critics also contend that NPV would ignore rural areas, but the opposite would occur. None of the swing states are the 10 most rural states, so the rural states are ignored under the current system. The 10 biggest cities in the U.S. contain only 8% of the U.S. population, so under a NPV they would no longer get as much of the attention. Under the current system, whether you live in New York City or the middle of Wyoming, your vote is ignored and irrelevant.
The Smallest States Suffer Most
Similarly, under the current system, the smallest states are ignored; only one of the 13 smallest states, New Hampshire, gets any attention, and it’s a disproportionate amount. With NPV, the rest would become relevant; we would start seeing national events during presidential elections. And what most people don’t realize is the small states lean Democrat anyway; a majority of them voted for the Democrat in all but one of the past eight presidential elections.
Today, with over 90% of Republicans convinced there was massive election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, there’s an even stronger argument in favor of an NPV. Those engaging in election fraud would no longer be able to focus on turning a few states; they would have to spread their efforts a lot thinner across the entire country.
Piling on, congressional redistricting is awarding more electoral votes to Democratic areas of the country due to counting illegal immigrants (even though they can’t vote — and if they do, that’s an entirely different issue involving fraud).
Many of the most conservative state legislators in the country support it because they’ve taken the time to study it, as well as conservative stalwarts like Newt Gingrich, former Rep. Tom Tancredo and former Rep. Bob Barr. For example, in the Michigan Senate, 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats sponsored it in 2018 (the speaker killed it).
Already Law in Some States
So far, 15 states and Washington D.C. have passed it, totaling 195 electoral votes (Guam and other territories are not included). The compact needs states with just 75 more electoral votes for it to take effect.
Critics point to Al Gore and Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote while losing the election, but never bother to address the fact that Republicans weren’t running campaigns to win the popular vote in those elections; they were running campaigns to win a handful of key swing states. If they switched their campaign strategy, things would be far different. Even Donald Trump has said this.
I changed my mind on it after hours of research; I wrote an article against the NPV in 2011. It was a great superficial argument, loftily dropping in references to the founding of the country — and then I discovered the facts after hours of research and looking honestly at how Republicans simply can’t win under the current electoral math. I can’t ignore reality and whip up the base based on an emotional argument that vaguely and incorrectly cites the Constitution and Founding Fathers. My fear is that when the rest of the right starts getting on board, the left is going to figure out it’s not really going to benefit them and will put on the brakes.