There are many reasons why we have the Trump presidency, but clearly one of them is the current winner-take-all Electoral College system. Conceived to placate slave-holding states, with the optimistic mandate of being a deliberative body, this institution has outlived its usefulness. The result is that five out of 45 U.S. presidents, including Donald Trump, have been elected while losing the popular vote. There are over 100,000 elected offices in the United States, but only two of them are elected using our current winner-take-all Electoral College system. We elect the chief executive of our state using popular vote; why can’t we elect the chief executive of our country the same way?
Repealing the 12th Amendment, which establishes the Electoral College, requires two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the state legislatures to vote for repeal. This won’t happen any time soon.
There is, however, a simple, clever solution. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact will assure that the presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes nationwide will be elected president by the Electoral College. States who sign on to the compact pledge to cast their Electoral College votes for the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The compact will go into effect when it has enough states to cast the majority of Electoral College votes.
Colorado has a chance to join this movement to improve our democracy. State Sen. Mike Foote has introduced legislation (SB19-042) to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that is working its way through the legislative process. Please join me in contacting our state representatives to let them know that we support this important step toward making every vote for the presidency count.
Sylvia Bernstein, Boulder