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The move to diminish the Electoral College

by CAROLINE GAVURA Section Editor

The new National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact is the latest effort to weaken the Electoral College’s power with regards to the presidential election.

The bill’s website describes NPV as “guarantee[ing] the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the entire United States. The bill preserves the Electoral College, while insuring that every vote in every state will matter in every presidential election.”

The Electoral College is a group of 538, one for each U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative, who meet each December of each presidential election year and vote for the future President and Vice President. A majority of 270 Electoral College votes are needed to elect the President and Vice President.

Currently, all states except Maine and Nebraska award their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote within the state. The NPV bill plans to award states’ electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

“What is the point of having an Electoral College if the votes are automatically going to go to the winner of the popular vote? You might as well get rid of the Electoral College alltogether then,” said junior Corinne Franchette.

Some find the NPV compact unconstitutional because, in contrast to what proponents of the bill have said, the Constitution’s Compact Clause states that interstate agreements must be submitted to Congress for approval.

Others find the bill to be the perfect motivation to get citizens back to the voting polls, knowing that their vote will actually matter since the winner of the election would be based on the popular vote of the entire nation.

“Getting rid of the Electoral College would be the right thing to do. The government should listen to the people. I’m going to be 18 soon and I want to vote, but it’s discouraging to know that the electoral vote goes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in New Jersey. it should be based on the entire nation to be truly fair,” said senior Kylie Scannella.

Technically, even if the compact was sent to Congress to be approved, Congress could not constitutionally approve the bill. The Supreme Court has held that congressional approval of an interstate agreement makes the agreement federal law. The Supremacy Clause prevents Congress from enacting laws contrary to the constitution.

However, if it receives enough support from both the public and state legislators, a constitutional amendment could be made and this bill could become a reality.

Do you think NPV should passed? Do you think the Electoral College should be diminished completely?

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