The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the importance of the Electoral College. The Framers of the United States Constitution tried to organize a government where power would be spread among different positions. The power was divided between the federal government and the states, and between three branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial.
The Electoral College was another way to divide the power. Each state has two senators and the 435 representatives are spread among the fifty states according to population. The electors for each state are the same numbers as the state’s representatives in Congress. This means that national elections will not be decided by residents of New York City and Los Angeles County. It also means that presidential candidates must consider the needs of states like Wyoming and Alaska with their small populations as well as California, Florida, Texas, and New York with their large populations.
The presidential election is won or lost on the number of electors that vote for them. Some Democrats won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote, the latest being Hillary Clinton. This is the reason why Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College. They want the election of the president to depend solely on the popular vote – rewarding the populous states at the expense of the less populous states.
The Electoral College has been in danger for numerous years. Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal said that it could now be in greater danger than previously. He reported on an event held recently at The Heritage Foundation to discuss the Electoral College. He quoted the following statement from Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James made to introduce the topic.
For over 200 years America has elected its presidents through the Electoral College….
While it’s a unique method for choosing a president, our country’s framers intentionally designed it this way. They wanted to strike a critical balance between people being able to choose their leader and states having proper representation in the process.
James claimed that the Framers “took care in crafting a system that they hoped would prevent a tyranny of either the majority or the minority.” She used the success of “stable and fair elections throughout its history” as evidence that the Framers created a successful project.
Despite the stability and fairness provided by the Electoral College, Democrats are plotting to get rid of it with their National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. James described this “movement is a threat that should concern all Americans because it would fundamentally change the way we elect our president and destroy the safeguards that the Electoral College provides.”
According to Stepman, the movement is gaining supporters because “15 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the pact.” The compact will “go into effect with a few more states whose Electoral College votes total 75.”
The host of the event at The Heritage Foundation was Hans von Spakovsky, and he explained how the National Popular Vote Compact would work.
Basically, in the compact each state says, “We will award our Electoral College votes not to the presidential candidate who the majority of our voters voted for, but to whoever wins the national popular vote.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) explained the intent of the Framers who sought to “ensure that the diverse interests of states would be heard and represented in selecting a president. The Framers were concerned about the smaller states and that their interests would not be “neglected or sacrificed” (James Madison).
Inhofe stated that “60% of Democratic voters” want “to abolish the Electoral college.” The national popular vote movement is targeting specific states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Virginia. These particular states have representatives who have voted to get rid of the Electoral College.
Even though the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact must be approved by Congress before it would go into effect, Democrats currently hold a slim majority in the House and control the Senate with a 50-50 split. The Electoral College, as well as the Supreme Court, stand in great danger due to the power held by Democrats.