National Popular Vote
Yesterday I blogged about personal vote verification. At the group level, I recommend supporting the National Popular Vote. While most people (70%) favor a popular vote for president, the U.S. Constitution calls for an electoral college system. The National Popular Vote movement is extremely clever in that it doesn’t require a constitutional change:
Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).
As of this writing, the bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland, which represent a combined 19% of the electoral votes necessary for the U.S. to have a de facto national popular vote for the presidency.
While National Popular Vote doesn’t solve the problem of voting fraud and irregularities at individual polling places, it does dampen the cascading and amplifying effect that the electoral system yields in close election years.
Given that the National Popular Vote can come about incrementally, state by state until the threshold is reached, and given the difficulty state legislators would have if they were to try to repeal the NPV bill they already passed, it seems inevitable that it will come to pass. Whether you agree or disagree, you can make your prediction here.