Monday, November 5, 2012

National Popular Vote

Tomorrow night or definitely by Wednesday (right? right?), we'll know who's won the presidency.

It may be one of those cases where one candidate wins the popular vote while another wins the electoral college. But even if it isn't, I hope everyone will seriously consider the ideas of National Popular Vote.

This is a grassroots effort to pass laws, state by state, to allocate that state's electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote, regardless of how the state's vote totals. The laws, which have been passed in eight states and the District of Columbia so far (including California, for a total of 132 electoral votes), do not go into effect unless and until enough states have passed comparable bills to ensure 270 votes.

This is a way of eliminating the electoral college without amending the Constitution. It has been endorsed by the League of Women Voters and a range of newspaper editorial pages. There are Republicans and Democrats on its advisory board.

Imagine -- no more swing states inundated with ads and attention from the candidates while the rest of us might as well not be voting. No more repressed turnout in "safe" states. No more possibility that the total vote count is meaningless.

The Minnesota sponsors are Rep. Frank Hornstein and Sen. Ann Rest. I'll be in touch with them soon to see what I can do to help.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions

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