The State of Oregon House passed legislation (HB 2927) that would make Oregon award its seven (7) Electoral College votes only to presidential candidates who win the national popular vote. According to National Popular Vote, this kind of legislation has already been passed by 14 States, equaling 184 electoral votes (CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA).
To be clear, Oregon and these other 13 States are not abolishing the Electoral College but altering it. Article 2, section 2, clauses 2 and 3 and the Twelfth Amendment of the US Constitution requires States to establish electors that will choose the president and vice president of the United States. These States are not eliminating their electoral college; they are eliminating the voice of their citizens and eliminating the legitimacy and relevance of their State’s involvement in the political process. However, now members of Congress are creating bills to actually dissolve the Electoral College. Either way, altering or abolishing, these changes will result in disenfranchising the vote of every State.
This infectious disease of ignorance must be stopped. The only cure is knowledge, so here are some facts that we must not only consider, but use to educate others.
The process of the Electoral College was established for a specific reason. Because we have failed, for generations, to teach an accurate application of the Constitution, many people like Oregon Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer believe that the electoral college is “flawed and outdated” and “does not fit the ‘We The People’ and ‘One person, one vote’ style of government.” Keny-Guyer, and those who believe as she does, simply do not understand why the electoral college was established and how that process protects her individual liberty and the sovereignty of her State, or understand that neither Oregon nor the U.S. are democracies, but instead are Constitutional Republics.
The process of the Electoral College was established to ensure that the person elected to be president of these United States would accurately represent the union as a whole, not favoring certain States while ignoring others. The office of president, contrary to popular belief, was never designed to be a representative of individual citizens, but rather a representative of the collective interests of the States.
A survey of the powers delegated to the president via Article 2 of the Constitution makes the role of the president quite clear. He is not the “leader of America,” he is the leader of the military upon declaration of war by Congress. He is part of the treaty process that makes contractual agreements with foreign governments and the States. Most everything that the president is to do, he does only with the consent of the Senate: the voice of the States. Together, the President and the Senate ensure that each State’s interests are represented equally in matters of war, peace, and foreign commerce. The office of the president was established to be the voice to foreign countries on behalf of the collective States. Because he is the representative of the States, the electors of the State are to choose their president based upon the person they believe will best represent the principles and interests of their State.
These subtle distinctions are hard for Americans to grasp since we have forgotten that our republic is a collection of independent sovereign States who created D.C. to represent their interests.
However, the national popular vote movement takes us even farther away from our Constitutional structure by further removing the independence of the States and eliminating the voice of the people within those states. This legislation proposes that once a popular vote is complete across the nation, each elector of the State must choose the president elected by popular vote nationwide, regardless of the collective choice of his fellow State citizens.
Through popular vote, the individual States would become completely irrelevant in the processes of the federal government. The president would no longer be required to ensure all States’ interests were represented in matters of foreign affairs, treaties or trade. The president’s only concern, throughout the entire four years of his terms, would be to make sure the select few States with the greatest voting population were happy and pleased with the execution of his power. It would be like Georgia surrendering all its voice to New York and legislating themselves out of the political process, or like Connecticut asking Texas to decide what is in the best interest of Connecticut.
The national popular vote would ensure that the people themselves would be silenced. What would be the point in voting if you didn’t live in New York, Texas, California, or Florida, where the majority of the voting population resides? Every presidential election would be chosen by these few States and all others relegated to being a spectator in the entire political process, making them politically irrelevant. Future presidents could then ignore all but a few states.
A national popular vote is, in fact, an oxymoron, as it would only reflect the voice of the most populous States, denying the disenfranchised voters in the other states a voice in the presidential election.
KrisAnne Hall is an attorney and former prosecutor, hosting weekly radio and TV programs and teaching an average of 265 classes each year on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Read entire article at krisannehall.com
The Language of Liberty series is an outreach project of the Center for Self Governance, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in principles of liberty. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. CenterForSelfGovernance.com