In just the past 24 hours, there has been a growing cascade of reporting on the GOP vote-rigging effort and the National Popular Vote effort to stop it. Here's the latest from all over the internet:
The GOP Plan to Take the Electoral-Vote-Rigging Scheme NationalThis nationwide plan is being orchestrated by our old friend Ken Blackwell, the Republican Secretary of State of Ohio in 2000 and 2004. And given that America's currently gerrymandered congressional districts just gave the House of Representatives to Republicans even though Democrats got a million more House votes, it's pretty clear why the GOP thinks going nationwide with their "one district, one vote" plan is so swell.
A Republican operative reveals his initiative to award presidential electors by congressional district in states across the country.
And you'll never guess who's helping Mr. Blackwell out:
ALEC Has Opposed "Popular Vote" Efforts Which Would Protect Against Partisan Rigging of Electoral College
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has actively lobbied against state plans to implement a national popular vote for president, urging state legislators to preserve the Electoral College -- which GOP legislators are now trying to rig to ensure the the next president is a Republican. In late 2011, ALEC officially changed its policy on the Electoral College to implicitly support allocating electoral votes by congressional district.
That plan that ALEC is lobbying against is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which, as I blogged yesterday, can complete ratification with the support of blue states alone, ending the nightmare of the electoral college for good.
And it looks like the left AND the right are starting to take notice of the National Popular Vote plan.
Mother Jones, via DCDemocrat:
Republicans Might Be Outsmarting Themselves on the Electoral CollegeThe American Prospect:
Democrats [...] have another weapon in their back pocket: the National Popular Vote interstate compact, an agreement among states to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote nationwide.
Will the GOP Vote-Rigging Effort Invite a Backlash?Washington Monthly:
It could be just the boost the National Popular Vote needs.
Can a National Popular Vote Defuse Republican Attempts to Steal 2016?Thom Hartmann:
I heartily support this plan just on basic principles.
When it comes to the electoral college, we need to scrap it altogether. [...] The electoral college should be replaced with more democracy: a national popular vote model.From the nervous Republican perspective, The National Review:
Kill This Crazy Electoral College Plan Before It Leads to Another Crazy Electoral College PlanRachel Maddow:
Rather than work to upend the way the Electoral College has worked in the vast majority of states for most of modern American history, we might want to recognize the virtues of our current arrangement as they compare to the National Popular Vote bill, which would obviate the Carrico bill quite neatly.
This Carrico bill is a little like mischievously toilet-papering your neighbor’s house while she stacks dynamite around yours on a hot and dry day.
Careful what you scheme forThe Nation:
Republicans are accidentally giving a push to the idea of a national popular vote, and under that system, Republicans lose.
Three Strategies to Stop the Gerrymandering of the Electoral CollegeAgain, all of this has happened in just the past 24 hours. But so far, most commentators aren't going into any detail on how the National Popular Vote can actually be achieved. In case they need help with the numbers, here's how to count to 270 for yourself. First, here's how I got to 279. Now you try:
Understanding, talking about and promoting the National Popular Vote campaign is an essential response to every proposal to rig the Electoral College. It pulls the debate out of the weeds of partisanship and appeals to a sense of fairness in Democrats, independents and responsible Republicans.
• States that have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact
• States with Democratic legislatures AND Democratic governors
• States with initiative processes AND that vote blue
• The electoral votes each state has
When you add up states that have joined already, states with Democratic governors and legislators, and states that vote blue and have initiative processes, you'll come to 275. Then add Rhode Island, with Democratic supermajorities in the legislature and an independent governor, and you'll reach 279.
But, really, this shouldn't even be partisan. There is nothing partisan about "one person, one vote." It is how every modern democracy on Earth works but ours. The only reason why the momentum behind it is currently from Democrats is because a non-partisan plan like the National Popular Vote is far more preferable than a highly partisan plan like what the GOP has growing in its lab. The operator of nationalpopularvote.com is a lifelong Republican who has consulted for conservative Republican candidates. Republican voters support abolishing the electoral college by virtually the same margin as Democrats: 61-30% vs 66-30%.
In reality, every small-state voter, every red-state voter, and every rural voter not in Ohio, Florida or Virginia would be better represented by "one person, one vote" than by the electoral college. That's because the only people who matter under the electoral college are people from swing states, and primarily three swing states in particular: Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. Under the National Popular Vote, however, a voter up for grabs in Tumbleweed, Wyoming and a voter up for grabs in California or Ohio would all be equally important to campaigns. Because winning the White House wouldn't be about winning states, or precincts, or districts. It would be about winning votes. And winning America.