Be sure to check out this morning’s on-the-mark Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com. The subject is the United States’ obsolete and anti-democratic system for electing presidents. As the editorial explains, it’s past time for the nation to get rid of the Electoral College and we don’t have to amend the Constitution to do it.
When it comes to electing the president, North Carolina needs to go back to the future.
In 2007 the state Senate passed a bill directing that the state’s electoral college votes for president be cast for the candidate who received the most votes nationwide. Essentially, it rids the nation of the antiquated electoral college without the cumbersome process of amending the U.S. Constitution.
It will give EVERY voter in the state a stronger voice in determining who becomes the nation’s next president.
As the editorial explains, the state House never took the measure up so it did not become law, but the basic premise remains:
- States have the power to award their electoral votes however they choose — the U.S. Supreme Court recently affirmed this;
- If enough states (representing 270 Electoral College votes) enact a law whereby their votes are awarded to the candidate who wins the national popular vote, then the the old system of having to win state-by-state is effectively ended.
- North Carolina should join the growing list of states that have formed a compact to do precisely that. States representing 196 votes have already done so.
As the editorial notes, the phenomenon of candidates winning the presidency with a minority of votes five times in U.S. history, but twice in the century — 2000 and 2016. This is simply wrong.
Here’s the editorial’s fine conclusion:
The state and nation’s political landscape is changing yet we continue to hold onto outdated, outmoded and irrelevant practices of the past that weaken the voices of ALL North Carolinians in determining who they elect and how they are governed.
Rep. James Holland of North Carolina was right in 1803 when he said during a congressional debate: “The will of the majority in their election of the Chief Magistrate” must be “the first principle of our Government.” The state Senate was right when it voted to join the compact in 2007 and the time is right to revive that legislation and pass it into law now.
A national election system where the candidate who gets the most votes wins will give North Carolina a STRONGER voice in the selection of the president. Candidates will need to pay more heed to all the state’s voters and campaign more vigorously to win support. Writing off North Carolina because of current electoral college calculations, won’t be an option.
North Carolina must be heard in Washington. Joining the compact will give the state a stronger voice.
Click here to read the entire editorial.