Action Alert! Support amended National Popular Vote bill
An alert from the League of Women Voters of Oregon:
ACTION ALERT! Support amended
National Popular Vote bill.
Date: February 19, 2018
To: All League Members and Oregonians
From: Norman Turrill, LWVOR President
Marge Easley, LWVOR National Popular Vote Portfolio
URGENT ACTION NEEDED
Contact your state senator immediately to support amended
National Popular Vote bill.
The League has just learned that Senate President Courtney has decided to allow a clean version (without a referral to the voters) of the National Popular Vote (NPV) bill to be heard very soon in the Senate Rules Committee. This decision was unexpected, and it is critical that we make the most of this sudden opportunity.
Please call or email your state senator as soon as possible to urge support for the version of the NPV bill that has already passed the Oregon House four times. And, if you’re attending Day at the Legislature on February 23, please make an appointment beforehand to meet with your senator or his/her staff to discuss points listed below.
Bipartisan support is critical for Senate passage. Senator Courtney, who favors a referral version, has indicated he will be voting no on the bill, and it is unclear how many Democratic senators will follow his lead. It is important to concisely convey to your senator why NPV is needed and to counter the most common misconceptions. Here are some talking points to help:
The Electoral College in its current form creates an unfair system and damages public trust in U.S. elections. It allows voters in some states to have more voting power than others. NPV will ensure that every vote in every state has equal weight.
Our founding fathers chose the elector system for reasons that are no longer applicable– to ensure that the President wasn’t selected by uneducated commoners and to appease slave states by counting slaves (3/5 of a person) in their population totals. Today’s Electoral College system is a result of decades of change brought about by increasingly powerful political parties, as well as winner-take-all state laws. These changes were never envisioned by the founding fathers.
The argument that the current Electoral College protects the interests of smaller states is not valid. In fact, the winner-take-all aspect of the Electoral College gives outsized power to 11 swing states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin), where the two major political parties have similar levels of voter support. The others, including Oregon, are written off as the province of one party or the other before the first primary votes are even cast and receive scant campaign attention. It is easy to see why voters in non-swing states come to believe their votes don’t really matter.
The candidate with the most votes wins in every other election in the country. Also, the U.S. is the ONLY practicing democracy where the candidate with the most votes is not assured of being chosen the national leader. Polls have shown for decades that more than 70% of voters, in both major parties, have felt that the candidate with the most popular votes should be the winner.
The National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact does not change the Constitution or abolish the Electoral College. It is an agreement among participating states to pledge their electors’ votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country. It takes effect as soon as the NPV bill is enacted by states possessing enough electoral votes to reach the threshold of 270 (out of 538), the number needed to elect a President. This bill has already been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes-61% of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it.
We appreciate your immediate action on this issue. You can find your senator’s contact information here.