Monday, January 16, 2017

National Popular Vote

A Legislative Report from Windsor County Senator Dick McCormack.

I’ve received many communications from folks indignant that the presidential candidate who got the most votes was not elected President by the Electoral College. These folks recognize that a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College is unlikely, and so focus their concerns on defending Vermont’s existing National Popular Vote law. I’m not aware of any effort to repeal this law, but I’ll oppose any such effort should that develop.

Each state that adopts National Popular Vote commits itself legally to direct its presidential electors to vote according to the national popular vote, to vote for the candidate who wins the most votes nationally. The commitment goes into effect only if and when enough states pass National Popular Vote to make a majority in the Electoral College.

Opponents of this law see it as an end run around the Constitution. I disagree. The whole idea of the Electoral College is to empower the states. The states already have authority to determine how their electors are to be chosen and how they are to vote. Some states divide their electoral votes proportionally while most have a winner takes all policy. There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the states from directing its electors to support the national popular vote. I think the question really is whether we choose to continue the intentionally undemocratic presidential election process originally developed by the Founders.

In fairness to the Founders, things were different in 1787. Although they wanted the benefits of "a more perfect union”, they were leery of the Union’s threat to state authority. Madison's country was Virginia, not the US. Adams' country was Massachusetts. They thought state governments were closer to home, more controllable, and so less of a threat to liberty. Small states feared that the larger populations of big states would dominate the national popular vote and so dominate the small states. Electors in the Electoral College are allocated to favor small states. (Not that that served small Vermont very well in 2016.)

In 1787 democracy itself was still a controversial idea. The Electoral College is one of several intentionally anti-democratic constitutional provisions intended to protect against mob rule and the ascendancy of a demagogue. BUT....

Two hundred thirty years later I think the Electoral College is an anachronism. We are less fearful of democracy. In fact, we are offended that the Electoral College thwarts and frustrates the will of the People. The states remain the basic polity, but since the Civil War we define ourselves as one nation indivisible. The President is the national leader. The presidential election is a national election.

Worse, the Electoral College is a failure. Rather than protect us from mob rule and the “danger of democracy”, it is the Electoral College itself that has given us a demagogue. We the American People as a whole voted more wisely than we the people counted state by state, and more wisely than the electors who were supposed to protect us from ourselves.

It's no betrayal of the Founders to change their work. They wrote the Constitution as amendable, understanding that things would change. As Jefferson said, "the world belongs to the living." 

Dick McCormack

Overview of the Rigged Election System and Direct Fixes
By Robert Steele

There are twelve specific reforms that must be implemented, together. The below graphic, something I have been working on for six years, drawing on thousands of people who are intimately familiar with how easily electoral fraud is accomplished using each of the twelve areas where these corrective measures would apply.

It is essential to note that this discussion applies only to federal elections. While state citizens can and should demand an equal level of integrity in state and local elections, any federal legislation on electoral reform is applicable only to federal elections. Such legislation has been introduced nine times, the last four times by Ron Paul, and all nine times the two-party tyranny has voted to block electoral reform of any kind. This is the “Establishment” against all of us.

RIGGED SYSTEM #1: Voter Suppression and Manipulation (Dead Voters)
FIX: Universal Registration & Right to Vote for Prisoners — end both voter suppression (a Republican specialty) and dead voters voting (a Democratic specialty).

RIGGED SYSTEM #2: Discrimination Against Ballot Access for 70% of Eligible Voters
FIX: Identical ballot access requirements for all candidates to any office.

RIGGED SYSTEM #3: Gerrymandering Districts to Favor Incumbents
EXAMPLES: Gerrymandering
FIX: Tightly-drawn districts, perhaps by computer, together with “at large” representatives for select distributed demographics (e.g. elderly, gay-lesbian).

RIGGED SYSTEM #4: CITIZENS UNITED, Campaign Finance Reform
FIX: Public funding for all candidates at all stages of each race, phasing down to top three for the primaries and top three for the general.

RIGGED SYSTEM #5: Complicit Media including CNN, Fox, WSJ, and Polling Companies
FIX: Equal time, both in person and time for advertising at no cost, on all public networks (which is to say, every media outlet operating on a broadcast license or registered with the IRS as a public company).

RIGGED SYSTEM #6: Controlled Debates Stolen From League of Women Voters
FIX: Restore the debates to the League of Women Voters who had the integrity to automatically includes 3rd, 4th, and even 5th party candidates as well as Independents, and to not provide the questions in advance to favor one candidate. NEW: requires each candidate in the general election for President to name a full Cabinet in advance, and organizes mulitple Cabinet-level debates for each Cabinet office.

RIGGED SYSTEM #7: Controlled Primaries Manipulated by National Party Organization
FIX: Ends all forms of party manipulation of how their nominee is chosen. Indeed, there is much to be said for the ending of all forms of party involvement in the election process once all individual candidates can count on equal access and equal funding.

RIGGED SYSTEM #8: Election Day “Inconveniences” as a Form of Voter Suppression
FIX: Make Election Day a national holiday with free public transportation and liberal leave, all employers are required to accommodate at least two hours absence if needed. Voting by mail and Internet can be increased provided the same public validation and exit poll integrity measures are applied as with RIGGED SYSTEM #9 below.

RIGGED SYSTEM #9: Electronic Voting Machines Easily Hacked, Votes Counted Secretly
FIX: Paper ballots counted publicly each hour on the hour, with independent exit polls (not the corrupt national polling companies now controlled by the two-party tyranny and the Wall Street elite). This eliminates both the easily hacked electronic voting machines and the practice of discarding the actual vote and reporting the desired vote to the state, now possible because of secret back room vote tallying.

RIGGED SYSTEM #10: Plain Majority Winner Instead of Instant Run-Off True Majority
EXAMPLES: Instant Run-Off
FIX: Instant-Run off is one of several possibilities.  Each voter casts a vote for first, second, and third choice. All three votes are tallied — the candidate with the most votes across all three levels of vote preference wins.

RIGGED SYSTEM #11: Legislation Written by Lobbyists, Voted Without Reading, Secret Clauses
FIX: All legislation to be posted online in advance — at least one week — of voting, with constituent polling being mandatory for each Representative and Senator — all secret clauses are absolutely forbidden.

RIGGED SYSTEM #12: Super-Delegates and Other Party Manipulation to Control Nomination
EXAMPLES: Hillary Clinton stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders in three ways: with DNC active measures against Bernie Sanders all along the way; with outright electronic voting fraud; and with the manipulation and intimidation of super-delegates. 

FIX: To the extent a candidate claims a party affiliation (I predict the next President will be an Independent who announces a transpartisan Cabinet in advance and demands Electoral Reform Act of 2018 as a pre-quel to their candidacy in the 2018 election cycle), the candidate should seek a mix of party voters and open primary voters to demonstrate their competitiveness as a party affiliated but not party controlled candidate in a general election.



  1. Some of those things we already have; equal public funding for presidential candidates, for instance. The last two candidates who used it were Ford and Carter in '76. There are equal time standards on BROADCAST television for STATEMENTS made by candidates, but they do not apply to news COVERAGE, and cable news is probably exempt. The biggest obstacle to democracy? An uninformed, uneducated public making decisions based on emotion, rather than facts. Some things are not that hard to figure out, if you actually THINK! We can remove all other barriers, but if we go into the polling place and vote for the candidate who best expresses our anger, rather than the one with the best ideas, we'll always loose.

  2. Just another Democrat crying and trying to delegitimize Trump's win. The Electoral College has worked fine for hundreds of years preventing America from being railroaded by a few select groups. The law was in place before the election and was the basis of the election, not the popular vote. Had the election been based upon popular vote I am sure Trump would have spent more time campaigning in New York and California.

    The Electoral College has served to protect minority interests from total domination by certain groups. If we allow the popular vote to rule Texas, California, Florida and New York will control what happens in our nation. The population centers where violent crime is the highest, most tax dollars are spent and where more people are dependent on government dole monies than rural America will rule. The vote by counties across America in this recent election demonstrates very well how most of the country would fair in future elections if the popular vote ruled across America. The vast majority of America would be controlled by liberal population centers. Do you really want what happens in Vermont to be controlled by San Francisco, LA, New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia?

    If you want to fix elections try controlling voting to consist of legal registered voters first. Require ID's and don't allow buses of voters to be brought in across state lines for one night for non-resident votes to be counted like New Hampshire allows. Prevent voter fraud instead of encouraging it like Obama did. Install protections like Real ID's and valid voter registration lists to be used to vote. It is simple to do and yet the Democrats and liberal judges have fought anything that requires voter documentation. That demonstrates that Democrats are casting most of the illegal and fraudulent votes and they want to protect this illegal voting.

    Valid photo identification is required for the things that follow:

    adopt a pet
    purchase a home
    purchase an automobile
    purchase a gun
    obtain a bank account
    obtain a credit card
    obtain a passport
    write a check
    make a credit card purchase
    apply for a loan to purchase anything
    to prove your age
    to get married
    to receive a marriage license
    to drive
    to buy a house
    to get medical care
    to get on a plane
    to get insurance on anything
    to get a job
    to get a post office box
    to get a hunting license
    to get a fishing license
    to get a business license
    to cash a paycheck
    rent an apartment
    rent a hotel room
    rent a car
    rent furniture
    rent tools and equipment
    receive welfare
    receive social security
    receive food stamps
    buy cigarettes
    buy alcohol
    buy a bus ticket
    buy a cell phone
    buy any antihistamine
    go in to a casino
    go in to a bar
    go to college
    have your water turned on
    have your electricity turned on
    have your cable turned on
    have your gas turned on
    obtain trash pick up service
    pick up a package from the post office
    pick up a package from fed ex
    pick up a package from ups
    pick up a prescription,

    but we don't want to properly validate voters?

    1. Philip Caron1/16/17, 11:02 PM

      Anonymous, while I agree that there are valid reasons for the Electoral College, your facts are way off. Voter fraud by individual voters has been extremely rare, not enough to spend much on - but see Chuck's reply below. Good id's are a good idea, but at least 30 of your listed items don't require a photo id.

    2. Of all the items you list, buying a gun is the only one GUARANTEED by the Constitution, as is the RIGHT TO VOTE! All others are considered privileges. I had my electricity, water and satellite turned on over the phone, without any ID. Oh, and USPS, UPS, and FEDEX will leave a package at the door of whatever address is on it, without checking! So enough of the B.S. on voter ID. Everybody knows it's designed to suppress voter turnout. Newsflash: NOBODY BELIEVES YOU!

    3. Oh, and by the way, the rest of us all had to put up with conservatives crying and whining about "illegitimate Islamofascist Obama" for eight long years. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. ENJOY!!!!!!

  3. chuck gregory1/16/17, 5:56 PM

    Effective voter fraud is not committed by individuals. it is committed by town and county vote clerks, by electronic voting machine technicians, manufacturers and hackers, by ward heelers and city employees in back rooms. Enough with the ID complaints!

  4. Do we have ward heelers in Springfield? I heard they are nice dogs.


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