Massachusetts Latest State to Vote to Bypass Electoral College
Massachusetts is the latest state to approve a bill supporting a law that would enable states to bypass the electoral college in a Presidential election, passing the electoral votes on to the candidate with the most popular votes overall in the country.
The bill passed through the Massachusetts house on a 28-to-9 vote, and now heads over to Democratic Governor Deval Patrick's who is an outspoken proponent of the bill. If the bill becomes law, Massachusetts joins Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington in the national campaign for holding the National Popular Vote solely responsible for electing the next President and not the electoral votes.
There are reasons this proposition for a change in the voting process makes sense, and there are reasons why it doesn't.
The main reason why it does work is it would force candidates to focus less on the swing states like Florida, California and New York and focus just as much time and energy on the middle America states - which mostly stand ignored. Basically supporters want to be sure that every vote, from every voter in the United States, matters and is counted.
"What we are submitting is the idea that the president should be selected by the majority of people in the United States of America," said Senator James B. Eldridge.
Why it doesn't work is because it leaves the decision solely in the hands of the American people and could cause even more confusion with the voting system. The main scenario presented by the opponents of the law is an if / then statement.
If Candidate A wins nationally, but Candidate B has won in a particular state, who gets the state's electoral votes? Under the new law, it would go to Candidate A even though Candidate B won the state. That would surely piss off the voters in that state, which would contradict the proponents statements about the law - that every vote counts. If the state's electoral votes don't go to the candidate that won the popular vote in that state then the votes clearly don't count when backed up against the rest of the nation.Continued on the next page