WASHINGTON DC, Aug 25 — Michael Maibach, founder of the Center for the Electoral College, says the National Popular Vote Compact (NPVC) is “a real threat to our presidential elections.” That’s how he put it in an interview with Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens and host of AMAC’s Better For America podcast.
Weber explained, “the NPVC would nullify the Electoral College without a constitutional amendment.”
Maibach said “the Electoral College is a unique design among all the republics in the world. It actually makes us more democratic than almost any republic. But it’s been a controversial topic since the election of 1824 when Andrew Jackson was defeated by John Quincy Adams in a House of Representatives vote because no one had won the majority of the electors … Fast forward, we really didn’t hear a lot about the Electoral College until 2001, [during the] Bush v. Gore Florida recount, and where Mr. Gore got a few hundred thousand more votes than Bush, but Bush won the election with the Electoral College. But he also won 30 of the 50 states. People forget that sometimes, just like Mr. Trump won 30 of the 50 states against Mrs. Clinton. Those were the two elections that caused a lot of controversy.”
In effect, he said, the NPVC is a way to “get around the Electoral College without amending the Constitution, because it takes 38 states to amend the Constitution and 38 small states are not going to have the big cities rule.” So, he said, the plan is to encourage state legislatures to pass laws giving ‘electors’ the right to pick a president and, so far, 16 states and 205 electors are on board. The goal is 270 electors who would be tasked with electing a president.
Maibach said “It’s not going to be in 2024. But it might be in 2028. [If so] we have a constitutional crisis. The 16 states include California, Washington, Oregon, most of New England, not New Hampshire, but New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. And now Minnesota. In each case, they’ve had a House, Senate, and a governor who are all of one party, the Democratic Party.”
He described it as a “de facto project of that party. I’m sorry to say, I don’t want to be partisan, but those are the facts. What it says is, no matter how our voters in our states vote, our electors will be told to vote for whoever wins the national popular vote. That’s what it says about their level of respect for the voters. [Thus, it says] people in California and New York ought to choose our president rather than the voters of our own state.
In conclusion, Maibach summed up his thoughts this way: “The good news is our Constitution is built for battle. We have not missed a four-year presidential election since 1788. Including, right in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln was re-elected, my gosh, we had 700,000 people dead on the battlefield and we were able to do this. In contrast, the British have had three Prime Ministers in the last year, and in the last two years, the Israelis have had five Prime Ministers in that period. Parliamentary systems are much more unstable than our system, we have a very stable system. The question is not, do we have the right Constitution for the difficult times we’re going through. I would argue, the division in America today is as bad as it was in the Civil War. Although it hasn’t come to violence, we certainly are dividing into blue and red states, and that’s unfortunate. But the question is, are our citizens prepared to defend the Constitution that they’ve been given? And I think we are. I like to say that you can either be grateful for what we’ve inherited, or you can be resentful. Unfortunately, so many people on the left are resentful of everything they’ve inherited, and yet the idea of building something sturdy doesn’t seem to occur to them so much. People who are grateful are also going to build on what they’ve inherited, and that’s what we have. The world’s oldest and best Constitution; it’s the oldest Constitution on the planet, and we ought to be defending it every day.”
John Grimaldi served on the first non-partisan communications department in the New York State Assembly and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Priva Technologies, Inc. He has served for more than thirty years as a Trustee of Daytop Village Foundation, which oversees a worldwide drug rehabilitation network.