Last week, the New York legislature adjourned without approving the anti-Electoral College National Popular Vote effort. It’s good news, but this piece of good news may not last long. New York voters will need to overwhelm their state senators with phone calls and emails if they want to keep this measure from being approved in the next twelve months.
The Assembly approved the bill, quickly, on June 12, despite past reluctance to do so. The Senate has also approved this measure, twice, in other legislative sessions, but it had limited time to act in the one short week that it was given this session. Moreover, Senators may not have felt rushed because the legislation carries over to 2014. There may also be the possibility that the Senate could approve the measure during a special session later this year.
About half of the Republicans in the Assembly voted for NPV. This vote was an unusually good showing for Electoral College foes. By and large, the NPV effort has been more “blue” than its proponents want to concede. Indeed, only blue states have joined the effort so far. But in New York, Republicans are frustrated and tired of watching the state’s entire slate of electors go to Democrats. They complain that New York City dominates the state, and they think eliminating the Electoral College will help.
Republicans are understandably demotivated by the manner in which NYC drives its presidential election outcomes. Last year, NYC drove the election results for the State of New York. Obama received about 4.5 million votes, total, from residents of the state. But nearly 2 million of these votes were received from NYC. The area outside NYC was more “purple” than blue. Republicans would have had a fighting chance in these counties.
This very same dynamic, already at work within New York State, will soon be at work nationwide if a direct national election is implemented.
Today, a statewide, winner-take-all election is held among individuals within New York. This election determines the identity of New York’s 29 electors. Republicans have been losing these elections because of the state focus on individual votes. Strategically, candidates are most efficient if they focus on heavily populated areas (NYC). Why do Republicans expect a national winner-take-all system to produce different results than their statewide winner-take-all system? If candidates are seeking the most votes from individuals nationally, why wouldn’t these candidates go straight to the big cities, just as they already do in New York’s state election?
The irony is so thick you could cut it. Republicans hate being ruled by NYC. So they solve their problem by approving a plan that will ensure that the entire country is ruled by NYC, along with a few other large metropolitan areas. Here’s hoping they rethink their logic before it’s too late.
More information on the Electoral College can be found at the links below.
A free white paper with a little more detail is here:
It’s not hard reading.
I have a myths and facts section here: http://www.taraross.com/2013/02/efforts-to-ditch-the-electoral-college-myths-facts/
In general, there is a lot of information on the Electoral College on this website.
If you want to buy my book, it has the most thorough explanation. It is written for lay people, not political scientists or lawyers!
The first edition on Kindle is only $1.99 if you are trying to save money:
I will donate free copies of the first edition of Enlightened Democracy for any educational purpose. Please message me on my FB page if you would like to take advantage of this offer.