Changing or eliminating the Electoral College can be accomplished only by an amendment to the Constitution, which requires the consent of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states. Throughout our nation’s history there have been many unwise attempts to abolish the Electoral College, but these proposed constitutional amendments saw little success and unsurprisingly failed to gain traction.
In recent years, a new scheme has emerged that claims it can bypass the seemingly insurmountable impediment of a constitutional amendment process but have the same result of nullifying the Electoral College: The National Popular Vote Compact (NPV). Activists, with the aid of misguided state legislators, have begun to gain ground in the states, with NPV arising as a serious threat to the stability of our presidential election process.
HOW DOES NPV WORK?
When a state passes legislation to join the National Popular Vote Compact, it compels the state to award its electoral votes to whomever wins the national popular vote, regardless of which candidate won in that state. NPV would reshape our political landscape by concentrating power in our largest states and cities. The tribalism and mob rule, of which the Founders warned would be realized, and the voices of smaller states would become marginalized.
There is a trigger for NPV to go into effect, and we are creeping ever closer toward it.10 When enough states have entered the compact to reach a majority of the electoral votes—270 out of 538—the compact will then kick in. The NPV would effectively abolish the Electoral College and co-opt even those states who did not join the compact into accepting an electoral regime they never agreed to or approved. The supporters of the NPV are not hiding their goal: They are trying to circumvent the AK constitutional amendment process and manipulate the Electoral College out of existence.11
If the Electoral College was eliminated, the power to elect the President would rest solely in the hands of a few of our largest states and cities, greatly diminishing the voice of smaller populated states.
10. Save Our States, “The Status of National Popular Vote,” https://saveourstates.com/threats/the-status-of-npv (accessed April 17, 2020).
11. Hans von Spakovsky, “Destroying the Electoral College: The Anti-Federalist National Popular Vote Scheme,” Heritage Legal Memorandum No. 260, February 19, 2020, p. 9, https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/report/destroying-the-electoral-college-the-anti-federalist-national-popular-0.