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Bypass the Electoral College? Careful what you wish for.

The National Popular Vote movement to bypass the Electoral College would fracture American politics and undermine important safeguards of our individuals rights.

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The greatest test of a political system is the transfer of power, and there is no greater transfer of political power than from one president of the United States to the next.

The Electoral College – the two-step, state-based process for electing presidents and vice presidents – has served the United States well for more than two centuries. Nevertheless, Massachusetts has become the sixth state to adopt so-called National Popular Vote legislation. The law, which only takes effect if passed by enough states to control the outcome, pledges a state’s electoral votes to the winner of the most popular votes nationwide.

If successful, this manipulation would eliminate the benefits of the current Electoral College system – and undermine important safeguards of our individual rights.

An 'excellent' system

Alexander Hamilton wrote in “The Federalist” (No. 68) that, if the Electoral College is not perfect, “it is at least excellent.” The system probably works even better than the American Founders expected, considering the addition of 37 states and the development of two powerful political parties since Hamilton’s original judgment

The Electoral College is established by Article II of the Constitution, with a few modifications in the 12th Amendment. Each state gets as many electors as it has US representatives and senators – that is, the balance of power in the Electoral College is the same as in Congress. Each elector casts one electoral vote for president and another for vice president.

The Constitution grants power to state legislatures to decide how to select their state’s electors. This allows each state to represent its own political will in the Electoral College system.


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