The Fatally Flawed National Popular Vote Plan
Excerpt from Cato.org
By Andy Craig
In Michigan, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) has qualified to begin gathering signatures to appear on the ballot next year. It appears likely the petition will succeed, since it enjoys the backing of prominent and experienced Democrats.
The basic premise of the NPVIC is to have states each pass an identical piece of legislation under which they would award their electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide. The states would implement this plan once enough states controlling 270 electoral votes have signed on, guaranteeing that the national popular vote winner will win the presidency. Currently, the NPVIC has been adopted by 15 states plus the District of Columbia, together controlling 195 electoral votes.
The NPVIC is not a new idea. Cato’s John Samples criticized its constitutional and policy merits in a 2008 policy analysis. But in light of the crisis over the 2020 election and the prospect of a repeat or worse in 2024, it’s worth taking a skeptical look at the nuts‐and‐bolts mechanics of how the NPVIC would work.
There are lively debates about if a national popular vote is desirable at all, and if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a constitutional way to get there. But even for those who support a national popular vote and think the NPVIC clears all the constitutional hurdles, there’s a more concrete practical problem which has been neglected by the plan’s drafters. Continue reading from the Cato Institute
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