They don't get a lot of fanfare. Okay, they don't even get noticed. But today, in state capitals across the country, electors met to cast their 1,076 ballots. Each of the electors cast one ballot for president and another for vice president, as set forth in the Twelfth Amendment. Those ballots will now be sent to Congress, to be opened and officially counted next month.
As Tara Ross and I point out today at NationalReview.com, the system has proved reliable, right from the beginning. In fact, the Electoral College is the victim of its own success. Because it works so well as a structure and a process, few Americans spend time thinking about how it works and why it's important. A lot of Americans simply forget about it.
National Popular Vote is a group trying to capitalize on this public disregard to change the way the Electoral College works in a way that would render it purposeless. We concluded today's article with a summary of why Americans should be skeptical of NPV's plan.
NPV would wipe away state lines for presidential campaigns and elections. Campaigns would feel the need to raise and spend even more money in order to blanket the nation with television commercials. At the same time, it would become possible for regional and perhaps more radical candidates to win the White House. And because a vote in, say, Chicago could directly cancel out a vote from anywhere else in the country, Americans would demand greater federal control over election administration.
In this last election, the Obama campaign knew it was not enough to win a majority of popular votes from major urban areas alone. Such a strategy could work in a direct democracy — it might well be the most efficient way to run a campaign. Yet our state-by-state election process demands more. The Obama campaign understood it had to win in the states, and it built an unprecedented grassroots network to do just that.
Most state legislative sessions begin in a matter of weeks, and NPV lobbyists are already hard at work trying to convince state legislators to sidestep the Electoral College.
Today we should remember that, the Electoral College, though frequently misunderstood, serves America well. NPV’s campaign should be rejected.
More information about the Freedom Foundation's defense of the Electoral College is available at SaveOurStates.com.