JAKOB LUCAS, Asst. Sports Editor—The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is a coalition of states who have banded together to upend the current electoral process.
This group of states feels that the Electoral College, in its current form, is not representative of every state nor every vote. The NPVIC formed to mend that issue. All states who sign on pledge to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
However, there’s a hitch.
Enforcement will only come once enough states or territories sign on that the compact possesses 270 electoral votes, or enough to actually elect the next President of the United States. Currently a total of 16 “jurisdictions” have signed on: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia according to the compact’s website. These jurisdictions possess a total of 196 electoral votes, meaning only 74 additional votes are needed for the bill to be implemented.
These 74 votes have already passed by at least one branch of their states’ legislature. In all, the states total an additional 88 electoral votes and depending on how their state legislatures swing this upcoming election, “the race to 270” as we know it could face a drastic change. These states are Arkansas, Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Virginia. The landscape of these states’ legislatures will get little to no attention this November, but they are going to be key races to watch nonetheless.
Furthermore, while their website lists Colorado as a signatory to the compact, the state’s decision isn’t official yet. Last year the Colorado’s lawmakers signed onto the compact. And this November, its citizens will decide whether or not Colorado remains a part of it, when they vote on Proposition 113. This referendum was added by opponents of the NPVIC in hopes that the people of Colorado would reject their lawmakers’ decision.
While many things are still unknown about the future of the NPVIC, one of the biggest questions surrounding it remains: Would instituting this new system be a benefit or detriment to democracy?
The answer is a clear and resounding benefit.
In its current form, the Electoral College is unfit to determine our president. The antiquated system was originally developed as a compromise between the Founding Fathers. The system was built on the back of the notorious Three-Fifths compromise where slaves were counted as Three-Fifths of a person in regards to determining congressional representation and electors for the presidency.
Moreover, the system suppresses the vote of the minority party in decidedly “blue” and “red” states. With the current winner-take-all system that is utilized by 48 of the 50 states there’s currently no reason for a Democrat to turn out and vote in Alabama and Arkansas. The same goes for Republicans in California and New York. However, if the nation adopted the NPVIC all of that would change. The minority party would still have an incentive to vote as their electors no longer vote for the winner of their state’s popular vote, but the winner of the national popular vote.
A true democracy puts power in the hands of the people, however when our presidential election system has increasingly failed us (two times in the past five elections) by granting the presidency to the loser of the popular vote, a change is clearly needed. That change lies within the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would ensure that every vote actually matters. It provides a solution to a problem that has plagued our country since its inception. Encourage your state to sign onto the NPVIC and put power back into the hands of EVERY citizen, thereby restoring democracy to our presidential election process.
Jakob Lucas’ 24 is a politics and public affairs and communication double major from Waxhaw, NC.