Skip to main content

St. Louis County Assistant Supervisor of Elections Troy Jeans (R) helps a lone voter deposit her ballot at the The Heights in St. Louis, Missouri on February 7, 2012, on the day of the Missouri Presidential Primary. REUTERS/Sarah Conard (UNITED STATES - T
Every vote should be equal, whether in Ohio, or Kansas, or Hawaii, or Alabama, or anywhere else.
There's no doubt, having nine states decide the president is patently absurd. The vast majority of the country has been virtually irrelevant to the process. Not only is that nonsensical and undemocratic, but it distorts public policy.

The late Sen. Arlen Specter knew this very well, which is why he advocated for the status quo:

“I think it’d be very bad for Pennsylvania because we wouldn’t attract attention from Washington on important funding projects for the state. We are trying to get more funding now for the deepening of the port [of Philadelphia]. When I was on the Appropriations Committee, we got $77 million over the years … We are trying to get the president to do more."

“Under the current electoral system, [President] Obama has good reason to give us the money to carry Pennsylvania. Because presidents think that way, it affects their decisions … In 2004, when I ran with [President George W.] Bush, he … came to Pennsylvania 44 times, and he was looking for items the state needed to help him win the state. … It’s undesirable to change the system so presidents won’t be asking us always for what we need, what they can do for us.”

That's awesome for Pennsylvania, not so awesome for the rest of the country.

So what's the alternative? It's the National Popular Vote, where every vote in every state by every American is just as important as anywhere else. It would be democracy, not this mess we have now. I wrote about this way back in January, and will write about it some more later. But it's a genuine democratic ideal. It's brain-dead commonsensical.

So how can we accomplish this despite the constitutional establishment of the Electoral College? Via an interstate compact that requires states to cast its electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote. To go into effect, it would require the adoption by states representing 50 percent of the nation's total electoral votes.

CA, DC, HI, IL, MD, MA, NJ, VT and WA had all passed the law, accounting for 132 of the necessary 270 electoral votes. A bill has passed both houses of the state legislature in Colorado and Rhode Island. What do these states all have in common? They're all Blue to Purple states, where memories of 2000 linger. The best thing that could happen for this effort would be for Mitt Romney to win the popular vote and lose Electoral College, but that won't happen. But the mere possibility, often discussed the past couple of weeks, could properly motivate them.

This is a democracy. We should acting like one, and the first rule of a democracy is that every vote is equal.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site