Protecting the Electoral College

From Phyllis Schlafly, May 2009:

The Electoral College Serves Us Well

The Electoral College is one of the provisions of our U.S. Constitution that the liberals hate the most. When Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate, her first legislative proposal was to call for the abolition of the Electoral College.

The Electoral College is one of the legacies of the inspired genius of our Founding Fathers. It was part of the Great Compromise between the big states and the small states which transformed us from 13 rival colonies into a constitutional republic. This Great Compromise brought together the large and small by means of a national Congress, with the House based on population and the Senate based on state sovereignty.

The Electoral College is grounded in this same brilliant compromise: it allows all states, regardless of size, to be players in the process of electing our President. Its rationale and structure are the perfect mirror of the Great Compromise that made our Constitution possible: the combination of equal representation of states with representation based on population. Our Presidents are elected by a majority of votes in the Electoral College, with each state's vote weighted based on its population.

The Electoral College induces presidential candidates to gear their time, money and policies toward the whole country, not merely toward the half dozen most populous states. If we had a popular-vote process, the temptation would be irresistible for presidential candidates to offer the moon wrapped in federal dollars to the states where big-city machines can pile up extra millions of votes.

The Electoral College is the unique vehicle that gives us a President who achieves a majority in a functioning political process. It saves us from the fate of other nations that suffer from the complexities, uncertainties and agonies of coalition governments patched together when no candidate or party wins a popular-vote majority.

The Electoral College is particularly fortuitous in close elections because it saves us from the calamity of having to recount votes in many or even all 50 states. Remember the election of 2000, when the result was unknown for weeks while we waited for recounts in Florida. If victory had depended on the country's total popular vote, we would have suffered demands for recounts and legal challenges in many states — not only states that ended in a close vote, but also the states that carried big for one candidate, who could try to scrape up an additional few hundred votes.

Because of third parties, it is very difficult for a candidate ever to receive 50+% of the popular vote. We would nearly always be saddled with minority presidents without an adequate basis of support for leadership.

Remember, it is so easy to make credible charges of election fraud in almost every state.

Another advantage of our Electoral College is that, except as a last resort, it keeps the meddling fingers of Congress out of the election process. The Electoral College is the only function of our national government that is performed outside of Washington, D.C. The President is actually elected by electors chosen in their states according to their own state election laws, who meet and cast their ballots in their own state capitals. No Senator, Representative, or other federal official is permitted to be an elector in the Electoral College.

The Electoral College has served us well for more than two centuries, with repeated peaceful transfers of power, and there is every reason to believe it can continue to serve us for the next century. No one has proposed a better alternative.

Stealing the Presidential Election

A major attack has been launched on our Constitution by those who want to change our form of government by getting rid of the Electoral College without amending the Constitution in the proper way. Over the years, several amendments have been proposed to abolish or change the Electoral College, but they have gone nowhere, so now some politicians are trying to change our Constitution without complying with the amendment process. Their plan requires stealing votes on a massive scale.

This plot is called the Campaign for the National Popular Vote (NPV), and it apparently has a lot of money behind it. NPV is headed by three losers who were defeated in the 1980 Reagan landslide: John Anderson, Birch Bayh and John Buchanan.

The plan is to get states with at least 270 votes in the Electoral College to enact identical bills requiring their own electors to ignore the winner of their own state's presidential election and cast all their state's ballots for the candidate who the politicians believe received more popular votes nationwide than the other candidates. NPV would construct a fake majority by stealing votes away from some candidates and transferring them to another candidate.

What could be more ridiculous and un-American than to force electors to vote against the votes cast by their own constituents! Yet NPV wants to require a state like Louisiana to cast its votes for the candidate who won in other states such as New York.

The NPV campaign lets people believe that their system will elect Presidents who win the majority of the popular vote, but that is absolutely false. The NPV plan would elect the candidate who achieved only a plurality of the popular vote. Because of third parties, we've had many elections (including three of the last five) when no presidential candidate received a popular-vote majority. Abraham Lincoln won less than 40% of the popular vote and only his Electoral College majority elected him President.

The elimination of the Electoral College would overnight make irrelevant the votes of Americans in about 25 states because candidates would zero in on piling up votes in large-population states. Big-city machines would take over, and candidates from California or New York would enjoy a built-in advantage.

People who pretend that the Electoral College system is undemocratic are not only ignorant of the history and purposes of the U.S. Constitution, but they probably don't even understand baseball — the Great American Game. Basing the election on a plurality of the popular vote while ignoring the states would be like the New York Yankees claiming they won the 1960 World Series because they outscored the Pirates in runs 55-27 and in hits 91-60. Yet, the Pirates fairly won that World Series, 4 games to 3, and no one challenges their victory.

The NPV slogan "Every Vote Equal" is stunningly dishonest because the NPV proposal is based on legalizing vote-stealing and on changing the rules of presidential elections by a compact of as few as 11 states instead of the 38 states needed to amend the Constitution.

Anderson, Bayh, Buchanan and their associates in the Campaign for the National Popular Vote know they can't change the Electoral College honestly by passing a constitutional amendment. Their devious plan to bypass the U.S. Constitution must be defeated. Their slogan that NPV will "make sure every vote counts in presidential elections," and their implication that NPV will elect Presidents who get the majority of the popular vote (whereas it would be only a plurality), must be exposed as dishonest.

NPV has already been passed by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii and Washington State. It's time to call a halt to this constitutional mischief.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The Electoral College was designed to protect liberty

NEVER GIVE UP OUR ELECTORAL COLLEGE:
Ten States Could control the Entire Nation If we do