NTF Issue paper: cong191.doc. 1-21.

. Our U.S. Constitution established the Electoral College (EC) in 1789 in Article II, Section 1. Electors cast legally binding votes which, since 1876, base on polling taken in each state and D.C. The Constitution allows individual states to determine how they choose electors and how electors cast their votes. States receive the same number of electoral votes as they have delegates in each house of Congress. Each state has two senators, with the number of representatives in the House determined by population-based congressional apportionment. Change would require a constitutional amendment. Congressmen over 700 times have introduced legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate or revise the power of the Electoral College and change to the direct popular election of the president and vice-president. However, none of the elimination proposals have won necessary approval by 2/3rds of Congress and 3/4ths of the states needed to amend the Constitution. Americans appear deeply divided along partisan lines over abolishing the Electoral College, Democrats mostly in favor by 60% (Poll: Democrats want to abolish Electoral College, Republicans want to keep it. The Hill, Matthew Sheffield, 3-26-2019), Republicans mostly opposed, only 19% supporting (Gallup Poll, 2019).

. Democrat Cong. Steve Cohen (Tenn.) introduced H.J. Res 14 in Jan. 2021, calling the Electoral College an anachronism. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, it would allow direct election of the president and vice-president by popular vote. He declared that the riot at the U.S. Capitol emboldened his effort to eliminate the Electoral College, though the overwhelming masses at the Capitol that day were peacefully protesting massive vote fraud in the popular vote and supporting conservative GOP congressmen challenging the validity of the vote in several states. Cohen readily admits that one of his aims is to prevent the House or Senate from getting involved in election determination. Congress traditionally serves more of an administrative role in certifying state electoral votes, but the House intervenes to decide if neither presidential candidate reaches the 270 elector threshold needed to win.

. Critics argue that the electoral system does not allow direct elections, gives less populous states like NE an unfair advantage, and allows a candidate to win the presidency without gaining the most votes. Thus, if candidates have high support levels in states with smaller populations and lower support levels in more populous ones, such as in 2016, consequently the winner of the national popular vote can lose the electoral vote and not win the presidency. A nefarious group called the National Popular Vote Compact seeks to eliminate the EC by avoiding the traditional amending of the Constitution and using an interstate compact. Legal scholars believe this usage unconstitutional, because it ignores the consent of Congress. The NPVC theorizes that if states with a total of 270 electoral votes enter its compact, the popular votes in those states assume the force of law. Currently, 15 states and the District of Columbia have signed on, needing an additional 74 votes before it would take effect. Socialist Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Cong. Beto O’Rourke (TX.) lead the abolition pack. The New York Times editorial board published a scathing attack, calling the EC an “antiquated mechanism” that “overwhelming majorities” of Americans would prefer to eliminate in favor of a direct, national popular vote. A Time magazine columnist ridiculously stated that our Founding Fathers deliberately designed the EC to advance the political power of slaveholders.

. No proof that this resolution would defuse controversy or potential riots feared by Cong Cohen. Abolishing the EC would give overwhelming political clout to large, liberal states and cities, like NYC. The interests of smaller and less populous states would become marginalized and ignored. The EC, though confusing to some, is the only safeguard against having our president selected by voters in a few densely-populated states on the East and West Coasts instead of voters in all 50 states. The conventional wisdom on the electoral vote is that it ensures that a U.S. president has sufficient popular support drawn from a distribution geographically diverse enough to enable the chief executive to effectively govern. President Trump signaled support for the EC, saying that “cities would end up running the country,” if the U.S. switched to a popular vote presidential voting method. Our Founding Fathers designed the EC deliberately, like the rest of our Constitution, to counteract the worst human impulses and protect the nation from the dangers inherent in majority rule democracy. The EC is neither antiquated nor toxic; it is an underappreciated institution that helps preserve our constitutional system, and it deserves a vigorous defense. The Constitution says nothing about holding a popular vote for presidents. No mention of a popular vote at any level. Each state directed to appoint “a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” The states may make these appointments by whatever means they choose, with a few restrictions on who can become appointed. Popular votes for electors occur within each state; the electors then proceed to do the presidential balloting. Ridding ourselves of the EC would not automatically install a national popular vote for the presidency; such would require a highly complicated constitutional amendment specifying comprehensive details for casting such a national vote and might even trigger calls by radicals for a complete rewriting of the Constitution by a new convention. Abolishing the EC might satisfy a Democrat yearning for direct democracy, but it would also dismantle federalism. No reason then to have a Senate (which, represents the interests of the states), and eventually, no sense in having states except as administrative departments of the central government. We structure everything in our political system around the idea of a federalism that apportions power between states and the federal government. Abolishing the EC would soon end the entire federalist system. Holding a direct presidential election might not be less cumbersome than the EC. Counting (and worse, recounting) votes on a nationwide basis when the margin between two candidates is .05%, as in 2000, would appear more unwieldy than under the current system. The EC forces candidates to appeal to a wider range of voters. A direct, national popular vote would encourage campaigns to focus almost exclusively on densely populated urban areas. The Hillary Clinton popular-vote edge in 2016 came from Democratic votes in only 2 places, Los Angeles and Chicago. Without the need to win the electoral votes of Montana, Kansas, or Nebraska, few candidates would bother to campaign there. Another benefit of the EC is that it discourages voter fraud. There is little incentive for political parties to engage in registration or ballot-box-stuffing in Montana, Nebraska, or Kansas, because they simply would not gain many more vote totals from those states. However, if presidential elections based on national totals, then fraud could freely occur everywhere and still count; it is unlikely that law enforcement could track down every instance of voter fraud across the entire country. The EC is a significant if poorly comprehended mechanism for stability, liberty, and legitimacy, all of which democracies can too easily undermine. There is little credence to the complaint that our Founders intended the EC as an elitist brake on the popular will, as electors rarely have contradicted the popular vote in their states (Allen Guelzo, In Defense of the Electoral College, 2018. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College).

. It was not until the formation of the Committee on Postponed Parts, near the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, that delegates finally agreed, in the words of Pennsylvania delegate John Dickinson, “that the President should entirely owe his Elevation to the will of the people directly declared through their Organs the Electors.” Such would grant the president “a broad and solid Base for him to stand upon.” James Madison with pen and paper sketched out a means of electing the President by a college of “Electors…chosen by those of the people in each State, who shall have the Qualifications requisite.” The EC is cumbersome, but our Constitution never meant to create a streamlined national government. The Constitutional Convention was interested in liberty, not simplicity.

. A constitutional amendment to end the EC passed in the House in 1971 but failed in the Senate. Now that the Socialist Democrats control both houses of Congress, the issue is crucial. They, in conjunction with the Biden Regime, will attempt to erase the EC in order to perpetuate their party holding onto the House and Senate permanently, forever depriving conservative taxpayers of representation at the federal level. Their party totally will ignore the conservative citizens outside majority Socialist Democrat states and localities. Nebraska voters and our elected representatives will become a permanent subjugated minority. Using the text above, contact your representative and Sen. Fischer today to stop the Electoral College eradication juggernaut. Email netaxpayers@gmail.com for Capitol Hill contact information and to join our NTF Congress Watch Project.

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. 1-21. C

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