Movement to Abolish Electoral College Suffers Defeat at the Hands of Virginia Democrats

Movement to Abolish Electoral College Suffers Defeat at the
Hands of Virginia Democrats 1

A bill aimed at adding Virginia’s 13 Electoral College votes to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact was pulled from consideration in the state’s Senate last week.

The bill would have entered Virginia into the agreement which requires states to allocate their Electoral College delegates to whichever presidential candidate garners the most votes nationwide, regardless of the outcome within their own borders.

It is a means to bypass the Electoral College system without passing a constitutional amendment, which requires two-thirds of the U.S. House and Senate or a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the states.

Then three-fourths of the states must ratify the amendment for it to take effect.

The Center Square reported that the bill looked to be going down in defeat in the Virginia Senate, so it was pulled.

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“Regrettably, when we did a headcount of votes likely to be cast on the Senate floor for the National Popular Vote bill in this year’s short session of the legislature, it appeared to be one vote short,” a statement from National Popular Vote read.

“Lacking the necessary votes on the floor, the bill was not taken up today by the Senate committee.”

Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin asked the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee to strike the bill on Jan. 26.

Democrats currently control the Virginia Senate by a 21-18 margin and the House of Delegates 55-45.

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The legislation passed the Virginia House last February by a vote of 51-46.

According to National Popular Vote, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed its bill, representing a total of 196 Electoral College votes of the 270 needed for the compact to go into effect.

The states which have signed have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in the last several election cycles, including California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

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Those in favor of compact, like Virginia state Rep. Mark Levine, who sponsored the legislation in the House, argue it is a more democratic way to choose the president.

“Do we really think voters in small states should have four times the representation of voters in large states? If I relocate across the Potomac [to Washington, D.C.], do I automatically become three times wiser?” he asked in a December Op-Ed for The Washington Post.

Those opposed say that abolishing the Electoral College would mean the large metropolitan areas on the coasts would in effect rule the entire country.

Tara Ross — author of “Why We Need the Electoral College” —  argues that the Electoral College reflects the great compromise of the Constitutional Convention in which each state is equally represented in the Senate, while the House of Representatives is based on population.

“So there is an element of one state, one vote in the Electoral College, but there’s also an element of one person, one vote,” she says in the documentary film “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.”

“California still has many more electors [55], than a state like Wyoming [3] or Rhode Island [4].”

Contrary to Democrats’ complaints, the Electoral College is fair, “Safeguard” contends.

“So we have democracy today, but we have 51 democratic elections, not just one. So they decentralize those votes to recognize that states are different,” Michael C. Maibach, distinguished fellow for Save Our States, says.

“The Electoral College, in effect, is who wins the most states, not just who gets the most votes in total across the nation. And those are very different systems. But no one says, ‘The World Series is undemocratic because my team got 24 runs in the series and your team got 12, but they won more games.’ It’s just each game becomes its individualized contest,” Maibach says.

The result, according to both Ross and Maibach, is a president who is able to compete in multiple regions of the country and thereby better represent the American people as a whole.

This article appeared originally on Patriot Project.

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