Those who claim the Constitution as their authority should probably read it first. Opponents claim that the National Popular Vote is a liberal ploy that guts the Constitution. If they actually read the Constitution, they would know we use the same constitutional power that the current system relies on—namely, the power of a state to join interstate compacts and the power of a legislature to award electors.
READ MORE — National Popular Vote would be bad for Pennsylvania … and the nation
Opponents claim that the current system forces candidates to build working coalitions across the states, even when they know that 96 percent of the last presidential campaign occurred in only 12 states. The rest of us were all but ignored.
Opponents claim that the current system results in the peaceful transfer of power and acts as a stabilizing force for our system of government, even when they know it contributes only to divisiveness. The last election proved that premise false. Cities were boarded up before the last presidential election when Democrats feared that President Trump would win re-election; extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol when he didn’t win.
It is time for legislators of all political parties to understand a very simple idea. There is not a single redeeming quality to the current state-based, winner-take-all system we use to elect the president; it is collapsing under its own weight. For the future of our republic and the good of the country, it must be reformed.
There is not a single redeeming quality to the current state-based, winner-takes-all system we use to elect the president; it is collapsing under its own weight.
National Popular Vote will give candidates incentives to campaign to voters in all 50 states, not just the battleground states. Candidates do not ignore any voter in first-past-the-post races (where the candidate with the most votes wins). In Pennsylvania, candidates typically campaign in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but they also aggressively pursue voters in the suburbs, exurbs, and the “Republican T.” National Popular Vote will force presidential candidates to get as many votes as they can from every community across America. That is how you win elections, and it is good for state and local political parties.
National Popular Vote will ensure the battleground status of Pennsylvania voters. Pennsylvania has recently been a battleground state, but that has not always been and will not always be the case. In 2012, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania received only five general election events, compared to 73 for the state of Ohio. National Popular Vote will turn every Pennsylvania voter into a battleground-state voter in every presidential election, and that is good for Pennsylvanians.
National Popular Vote advances the principle of one person, one vote in presidential elections. Nothing provides stability to a political system like the idea that every voter in every state is equally valued and has a legitimate stake in the outcome. The current system leaves fly-over-state voters on the sidelines. National Popular Vote will make all voters equal.
National Popular Vote will put rural and urban voters on an equal footing. There are 59,849,899 people in the 100 largest cities in America (urban centers). There are 59,492,267 people living in rural communities. National Popular Vote is the only way for rural voters to be on equal footing with urban voters.
National Popular Vote will turn presidential elections into contests where the candidate with the most popular votes from citizens will determine the outcome. Under the current system, the number of electors each state has is determined by the total number of people residing in each state. This includes citizens and noncitizens as determined by the U.S. Census. Overnight, National Popular Vote will turn presidential elections into a first-past-the-post election (the candidate with the most popular votes wins); in a single member district (all 50 states and the District of Columbia); where only citizens can legally vote under both state and federal law.
National Popular Vote will turn presidential elections into contests where the candidate with the most popular votes from citizens will determine the outcome.
National Popular Vote will ensure that the candidate with the best ideas (the ideas that appeal to the most American citizens) is elected president. This will restore faith and confidence in the system. It will end needless litigation and courts picking presidents. It will give every citizen confidence that their vote mattered and counted. In every election, American voters will get the government they deserve. When electing the president, we should get the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states, not just the battleground states.
The National Popular Vote will take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). So far, National Popular Vote has been passed in 15 states and the District of Columbia containing a total of 195 electoral votes.
I urge every member (Republican and Democrat) to support the National Popular Vote bill in Pennsylvania. Reject the dishonest objections of the opponents and make every American citizen relevant in every presidential election.
Patrick Rosenstiel is a lifelong Republican who worked for or contributed to every American Republican presidential candidate since Bob Dole. He is not a liberal, is chairman of the Institute for Research on Presidential Election, and serves as a senior consultant to National Popular Vote, www.nationalpopularvote.com.