NTF issue paper: cong172.doc. 2-20.

. Our Founding Fathers very knowledgeably structured our Constitution to balance the competing interests of large and small states by establishing the Electoral College. The College was a compromise agreed to at the Constitutional Convention to satisfy the small states. These Constitutionalists rightly feared the tyranny of a majority of citizens. This system meant to balance popular sovereignty with protections for state governments and minority interests. It prevents federal candidates from winning their election by focusing only on dense urban centers, ignoring smaller states and rural areas. Under the system of the Electoral College, each state has the same number of electoral votes as they have representatives in Congress. Therefore, no state could have less than 3. The Electoral College was part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states. The College requires candidates to win the votes of a larger cross-section of American voters regionally. Many believed that the College would serve as protection against foreign nation interference, more difficult to sway millions of voters scattered across the states than concentrated groups in a few states. Early in our nation, both England and France attempted to convince Americans to align with their objectives overseas. Our Electoral College system has provided us with orderly elections and a stable government for over 200 years (The Electoral College: A Safeguard for Stable Elections, by Hans Von Spakovsky). Our Founders established the College in our Constitution, because they believed it the best way to choose a President, using electors instead of a popular vote, to prevent uninformed and uneducated voters from dominating. The College ensures that every part of the U.S. involved in selecting our President. To win an election, presidential candidates must assemble campaign platforms with a national focus, forcing the winner to actually listen to the needs of the whole nation. If no College, NE farmers and Iowa factory workers would become ignored in favor of pandering to metro areas with dense populations, leaving NE rural areas and small towns marginalized. If the election based on popular vote, a candidate could receive the highest number of popular votes without winning a majority, as happened with Bill Clinton in 1992. In this instance, the College precluded calls for a national recount or run-off election.

. Our Founding Fathers feared direct election to the presidency, fearing a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and assume extra powers. Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers (68):
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.

Hamilton and the other Founders believed that the electors could ensure that only a qualified person becomes President. They thought that the Electoral College would prevent manipulation of the citizenry. It would act as a check on an electorate liable to duping. Founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and therefore immune to manipulation over time by foreign governments or others (Marc Shulman, Why the Electoral College). The real principle at risk, threatened by a national popular vote, was the concept of federalism. Founders meant to preserve this concept and a diffusion of power among the states. A national election that relies heavily on the concept of federalism ultimately fulfills the requirement that presidents receive the “esteem and confidence of the whole Union,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 68 (The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Campaign Against the Electoral College, by Jarrett Stepman April 10, 2019). The Founding Fathers understood direct democracy as historically destructive. James Madison believed that the College would improve balance among states and prevent presidential elections from becoming sectional battles. He wrote, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths” (The Federalist, # 10). He meant that rule by simple majority creates the real danger of disenfranchising the rights of the minority. He also wrote, “In all cases where a majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger!” John Adams agreed: “Unbridled passions produce the same effects, whether in a king, nobility, or a mob. The experience of all mankind has proved the prevalence of a disposition to use power wantonly. It is therefore as necessary to defend an individual against the majority [in a democracy] as against the king in a monarchy….” In their deliberations, Founders studied the history of ancient governments, concluding that nothing but the Electoral College could better safeguard our liberties.

. The Electoral College includes 538 electors, each state allowed 1 for each representative and senator (D.C. has 3, established by the 23rd Amendment) (The Electoral College: Top 3 Pros and Cons, 9-1-2017). In Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution, the method of selecting electors was delegated to the separate state legislatures, the voting procedure followed by the electors carefully defined. In every state, each political party chooses a group of electors. On Election Day, voters choosing a presidential candidate actually cast a vote for an elector. A majority of states use the winner- take- all method, in which all electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote in that state. Winner- take- all methods used in selecting electors decided by the states themselves during the 19th Century. Only in NE and Maine, the candidate who wins that state popular vote receives 2 electors and 1 elector from every congressional district apportioned by the popular vote in that district. To win, a presidential candidate must win at least 270 Electoral College votes nationwide.

. Under the Obama Regime, the Democrat Party lost more congressional, state legislative, and gubernatorial seats than under other presidents in history, over1,000, dumping the party into its weakest position politically since the 1920s. Yet, Dems complained that Hillary Clinton should have won in 2016, because she won a majority of total votes nationally. However, she won only 1/6 of all counties, her support limited mostly to urban west and east coast areas. A cantankerous Hillary, in a post-election speech, promised to fight to abolish the Electoral College as outmoded, phased out of our election system. Socialist Dems understand that if they control several key states, major population centers (California and New York City, for example), they can steal every election from the minority states and seize control of the nation. Socialist Dems seek to turn our nation into mob rule at election time by repealing the Electoral College. Online petitions seek to abolish it only because Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but not the electoral vote.

. To terminate the Electoral College, 3/4ths of states must ratify a constitutional amendment. Smaller states would balk. However, voters could modify the system by ending the winner- take-all part of it, which the Constitution does not mandate, but a difficult chore.

. Colorado and Nevada joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in 2019 to pass and sign into law a pact that would ignore voters and cast electoral votes for the candidate who wins the popular state vote, even if such candidate not wanted by a majority of state voters who voted for electors. These 17 states control 195 electoral votes. Each state law would take effect after a sufficient number of states representing at least 270 electoral votes pass similar laws. Currently, this coalition of states is only 75 electoral votes shy of the needed 270 (Why We Have to Jealously Safeguard the Electoral College, by Michael Dorstewitz, 3-22-2019). These states are following the lead of John Koza, liberal co-founder of the National Popular Vote, dedicated to overthrowing the Electoral College. This group funded almost wholly by leftist donors, including George Soros. This movement appears very vulnerable to a legal challenge in federal court, because it undermines the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which formally established the Electoral College in 1803 (Democratic Attack on Electoral College Would Silence the Minority’s Voice, May 29, 2019).

. The College stifles election stealing efforts. At the national level, the election must seem close enough, so that changing results in only 1 or 2 states would alter the outcome. Secondly, the margins in those contested states must appear extremely close, and such elections are extremely rare, such as in 2000. If only the popular vote counted, many still would question who won that close election, Bush or Gore. Without the Electoral College, a vote stolen in any part of the nation could change the outcome of an election. Also, another College benefit is if problems do arise during an election because of fraud or human error, the problems limited to only 1 or a few states (Tara Ross, How the Electoral College Helps Protect Against Voter Fraud, Oct. 26, 2017). The Electoral College provides checks and balances to the process, preventing a single ideology or branch of government from dominating the political landscape ( In Defense of the Electoral College, by Jacob Posik, November 15, 2016). Our forebears never intended the U.S. as a democracy. It is a republic, because Founders understood the dangers of pure democracy, mass mob rule, oppressive to those in the minority. The Founders constructed a democratic republic, carefully designed to safeguard the rights of both the majority and the minority. Without the Electoral College, 9 states have enough population that, with help from big cities, could control the popular vote. However, they control only 232 Electoral College votes, short of the 270 necessary to win the presidency. Thus, the College safeguards people in 41 states from domination by 9 others (The Messenger, Feb. 3, 2020). The system allows people to vote through their state, slightly favoring less populated areas. Under the popular vote system, the votes of a lower-population state like Nebraska would not count, our voters negligible, the majorities of heavily populated areas like New York City always controlling the presidency (Gary Rethford, The Founding Fathers Didn’t Establish a Democracy, but a Republic). Transitioning to a national popular vote would make American politics more radical, regional, and corrupt. The Electoral College forces presidential candidates and their parties to build broad, national coalitions. Presidential candidates must not only go to states where already popular but must state their platforms to voters in evenly divided states. The College turns our presidential contest into 51 smaller elections, permitting control over the process to remain at state level. A national popular vote would end the need for geographic balance; a candidate could win based on intensive support from small areas. California and New York City would rule, and those politics that have transformed those once-beautiful states into drug-and disease-ridden trash heaps of humanity would prevail (Trent England, Eliminating the Electoral College Would Corrupt our Elections, Oct. 1, 2012. England is VP of Policy at the Freedom Foundation). Without the Electoral College, presidential candidates could act as if Americans in the Midwest do not exist. They would campaign in a small number of states with large populations. No candidate would care what people in Nebraska think (Democratic Attack on Electoral College Would Silence the Minority’s Voice, May 29, 2019).

TAKE ACTION NOW. If we terminate the Electoral College, we end the last vestige which identifies the U.S. as a republic that refuses to submit to the mob rule of pure democracy. We must stop the Socialist Democrats from turning our nation into mob rule at election time by repealing the Electoral College. The violent, aggressive, and disrespectful response by liberals to and since the 2016 election and their attack on the Electoral College should only reinforce the motivations of independent and undecided voters to vote for Trump in 2020. Contact your representative and senators today. Urge them to pass a resolution in both House and Senate to confirm the permanency of our Electoral College and safeguard its continuance. Email netaxpayers@gmail.com for Capitol Hill contact information and to join our NTF Congress Watch Project.

Number of electoral votes allocated to each state.
Source: USA.gov, “Presidential Election Process,” usa.gov (accessed Nov. 18, 2016)

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 2-20. C

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