The College Dropout

The National Popular Vote is a bill which, if passed by a sufficient number of states, would make the Electoral College ineffective. It would do so by giving the electoral votes of states with at least 270 Electoral College votes to whomever won the greatest number of votes nationwide, guaranteeing that person would win the Presidency and making who won any particular state completely irrelevant. It was originally proposed, as far as I know, by Akhil and Vikram Amar in response to the 2000 general election. I'm a strong supporter, and I knew that a couple of states (Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, and New Jersey, it turns out) had passed it. But I hadn't realized that it's at some stage of consideration by the legislatures of a vast majority of states (scroll down to the map of the United States on that page, there's no direct link).

State-level representatives represent far fewer people, and while I don't have numbers on this, I'm reasonably confident that their constituents contact them less often than national-level representatives, even taking into account that they have fewer constituents. So, for the love of god, contact your state-level representative, especially if a National Popular Vote bill is currently pending before them. New Yorkers, you can find your state-level representatives if you enter your address here. Other people, you can't, but I'm sure the information is available if you don't already know it. The bill is currently in the process of moving through the New York State Assembly. Again, New Yorkers, please either ask your assembly person to support it, or, if they already do (mine, Joanne Millman, does), thank them and let them know you care about the issue and hope they do whatever they can to move the bill forward. Other people, I don't know the status of the bill in your legislature, but the information is available if you click your state in the map linked above, and you can then act accordingly.

This post, of course, contained no argument for why the Electoral College is bad or the National Popular Vote is good. If you want to hear about the former, a good place to start is the Amar brother's piece which immediately preceded the one I linked above. The latter is dealt with pretty well by the FAQ at the National Popular Vote site, or you can ask me to address concerns you have, I might know the answer.