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View Diary: Pennsylvania Republicans propose awarding state's electoral votes by congressional district (203 comments)

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  •  States Have Exclusive Control of Elections (0+ / 0-)

    The Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution permits states to conduct elections in varied ways.

    The Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ."   The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    Neither the current system nor the National Popular Vote compact permits any state to get involved in judging the election returns of other states.  Existing federal law (the "safe harbor" provision in section 5 of title 3 of the United States Code) specifies that a state's "final determination" of its presidential election returns is "conclusive"(if done in a timely manner and in accordance with laws that existed prior to Election Day).  

    Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the "canvas") in what is called a "Certificate of Ascertainment." They list the electors and the number of votes cast for each.  The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes reported in the Certificates of Ascertainment. You can see the Certificates of Ascertainment for all 50 states and the District of Columbia containing the official count of the popular vote at the NARA web site

    •  I'm not sure what your argument is? (0+ / 0-)

      Above I was pointing out concerns that I had with a national popular vote. Is your point that a national popular vote is consistent with the current election laws and our federal constitution as the states have the right to do whatever they wish with regards to allocating their electoral votes?

      In general I don't disagree with you. (With the caveat that I am not convinced that basing ones electoral votes on the results of elections held nationwide won't be found in violation of the principle given).

      However, even if the national popular vote as proposed is fully consistent with the constitution and federal laws that doesn't negate the concerns I mention above. Being legal and constitutional doesn't necessarily make it a good idea! Further, we also have the option of attempting to modify the law or constitution if needed to improve our electoral system and/or to fix real or impending problems if so desired.  

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