Gaming the Electoral College

We just attended Professor Mona Field’s guest lecture on “American Presidential Elections” at Glendale Community College (see flyer below). Among other things, Prof. Field talked about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. In summary, this novel compact is designed to circumvent the archaic Electoral College system set forth in the Constitution. Specifically, States who join the compact thereby pre-commit to award their respective electoral college votes to the presidential candidate who wins the overall popular vote in all 50 States. Thus far, ten States (and D.C.) have already voted to join the compact, and these States represent 165 Electoral College votes. So, is this novel compact constitutional? Can we change the Constitution without formally amending it?

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7 Responses to Gaming the Electoral College

  1. Craig C says:

    People keep saying the Electoral College is archaic. Yes, the vote of a person in California is worth about 1/3 of the vote of a person in Wyoming, in terms of power to elect the president. But this is the system that our founders designed, to balance the interests of small states vs large states. Perhaps their concern about small states vs large is outmoded, but that is the discussion we should have first, before we talk about electoral college fairness.

  2. Craig C says:

    One must ask, what distinguishes a Rhode Islander these days from say, a Wyomingite (Wyominger?) other than living within some historically-drawn borders? Is a Rhode Islander any less or more a “native” or archetype or devotee of his/her state than the Wyoming person? And what happens when the Wyoming person moves a few miles away to Idaho, or the Rhode Islander moves south a few miles to Connecticut? I think it’s the concept of states that is stale, but these archaic borders are so baked-in that I fear our state-federal dysfunction is permanent. No Congreesperson has an interest in addressing it, that’s for sure. It would be like being disloyal to your high school.

    • That is a good point: if we could rewrite the Constitution (or write a new one), would we cut the States out altogether, or would we replace them with “greater metropolitan areas” like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, etc.?

      • Craig C says:

        I may try drawing such a map. I know this has been done before, but I’m not sure it has been done for the purpose of grouping according to “regional identity” — if that were a good thing!

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