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Resolution in Support of the Electoral College Exposed

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The Resolution in Support of the Electoral College was adopted by ALEC's Criminal Justice Task Force at the Annual Meeting in August, 2007, approved by the ALEC Board of Directors in September, 2007. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of ALECexposed.org in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

CMD's Bill Summary

This Resolution expresses support for the state-by-state electoral college system, and opposes efforts to replace the Electoral College with a direct, nationwide vote (the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact). The Compact is based on Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives each state legislature the right to decide how to appoint its own electors; if enough states join the compact to represent a controlling majority of the Electoral College (270 votes), all of the states would cast their electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote (rather than just the winner for their particular state). A direct vote would avoid problems like those that arose in the 2000 Bush v. Gore election, where Al Gore won the popular vote, but lost the election because of Florida (and its questionable ballot-counting). Direct voting has been debated on both ends of the political spectrum. The biggest change would likely be that elections would not be decided by just a few swing states (which means that candidates would have more of a national focus, rather than appealing to discrete interest groups within swing states at the expense of other states). Direct voting would also make it harder for corporations and interest groups (like the NRA) to influence elections -- these groups would no longer be able to spend a lot of money on just a few states and have an impact on the outcome.

ALEC Resolution Text

Summary

This resolution calls on the State of (insert state) to recognize the current Electoral College system as the best way to elect the President of the United States. The current Electoral College system respects small states, rural areas, and the principle of federalism. Furthermore, this resolution calls on the State of (insert state) to defeat any multi-state compact legislation that would cause (insert state)’s electoral votes to be awarded based on the results of the national popular vote.


Model Resolution

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

WHEREAS, the Founding Fathers rejected having the President of the United States elected by a national popular vote and instead chose the Electoral College system; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system encourages presidential candidates to campaign in large metropolitan areas and also in rural areas and small states; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system ensures that the winning Presidential candidate has support from multiple regions of the country; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system respects the Founders’ strong belief that individual states should have a vital role in electing the President of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact diminishes the importance of individual states in presidential elections; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system respects the separation of and balance of power and authority between the States and the Federal government; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system ensures that (insert state)’s electoral votes are awarded based on how the majority of the State’s citizens vote;

WHEREAS, under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, (insert states)’s electoral votes could be awarded to a candidate that the majority of the State’s citizens did not vote for; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system is better suited to handle recounts because they happen at the state level, which is more manageable than if they were to happen at the national level as they might if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact were adopted; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system creates a needed balance between agrarian and industrial interests; and

WHEREAS, the current Electoral College system best preserves our two-party system and prevents the fracture of America’s political structure; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has rejected over 1000 amendments to the Constitution to change the Electoral College, including amendments to change to a popular vote system; and

WHEREAS, the constitutionality of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is questionable because Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution states that no state, without the consent of Congress, may “enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State.”

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the State of (insert state) endorses its current Electoral College system as the best way to elect the President of the United States.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State of (insert state) shall defeat any legislation that creates a multi-state compact for the purpose of dismantling its current Electoral College System.


Adopted by the Criminal Justice Task Force at the Annual Meeting, August 2007.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors September 2007.