Point

Protect Maine's vote

By Paula G. Sutton | Mar 07, 2019

Since 2006, there have been five efforts by Maine’s progressive legislators to trick Mainers into implementing the National Popular Vote and ignoring the Electoral College.

The newest bills, LD 418 and LD 816, propose an interstate agreement involving the 50 states and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) to implement the National Popular Vote, which would force us to hand over all of the Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate with the most nationwide votes, thus, unconstitutionally prohibiting our electors from representing Maine’s voters.

Interestingly, one-third of the bill’s co-sponsors are from Knox County, including Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden; Rep. William Pluecker, U-Warren; and Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center, D-Rockland. When selecting presidents, there is no sound reason for Maine lawmakers to give away our voice.

In 2009, Mark Brewer, assistant professor of political science, University of Maine, testified in opposition to the National Popular Vote: "Maine’s electoral votes should rightly be determined by the voters of Maine, not those of anywhere else."

State elections and their own electors are important; each state is unique. The states’ separate presidential election pools that currently exist should not be replaced with one large national election pool.

Only 12 states and the District of Columbia have now passed legislation, but their collective 181 electoral votes comprise a frighteningly large number of the 270 electoral votes needed to implement the NPV; supporters need only a few more states to win the “urban power grab.” We need to strongly resist allowing a minority of states to force the whole country into submission.

Some paid Republican lobbyists and progressive legislators are deceptively claiming that the National Popular Vote and the Electoral College can co-exist. While, at first glance, this appears to be true, it is a clever charade. If this system were implemented, the Electoral College electors would serve as marionettes on the National Popular Vote stage while the progressive puppet masters would control the strings. Don’t be fooled.

In 2017, then-state Rep. Owen Casas, U-Rockport, voted in opposition because “We have a process for changing the way we elect our president and this isn’t it. What is being asked of the lLegislature is to compel our electors to vote for, in the Electoral College, the candidate who got the most popular votes. This would be regardless of who our state actually voted for.”

The National Popular Vote is illegal and unconstitutional; it violates Article I, Section 10; Article II, Section 1; Article IV, Section 4; and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Let’s learn from our mistakes. Large portions of the recent ranked-choice voting law were proven to be blatantly unconstitutional; the legal challenges were expensive and voters were disenfranchised.

Our founders developed the Electoral College to protect each state’s voice. With NPV, presidential campaigns would concentrate on the larger states and ignore the smaller states, which would upset voters by rendering us irrelevant. The National Popular Vote devalues states like Maine.

Our census illustrates that candidates could win with votes from as few as nine densely populated states. The composition of each state’s voting population is not uniform. Some states have found ways to enlarge their voting populations by including felons, same-day voting, no voter ID, and, potentially in the future, lowered voting ages and allowing non-citizens to vote.

To prevent a few powerful states from controlling the whole country, our republic is representational; the Senate is apportioned with two senators per state, regardless of population, and House members are based on population. Likewise, the Electoral College factors in each state and its size.

Nationally recognized EC expert Tara Ross explains it this way: “If two wolves and a sheep vote on what’s for dinner, is the sheep treated fairly when it loses the vote and is eaten?”

“One person, one vote” may sound appealing, but our diverse country is composed of many distinct regions, and each state deserves the recognition provided by the Electoral College.

After examining previous testimonies, I am convinced we should keep the existing constitutionally mandated voting system; it fairly divides power between the national government and each state.

The Electoral College makes sure the little guy matters with checks and balances embedded in the Constitution. It is wrong to change laws to rig the system to promote different outcomes.

Rather than adopting the NPV, I suggest the winner-take-all states join Maine and Nebraska in the Congressional District Method, which assigns electoral votes to each U.S. Congressional district, thereby allowing the electoral votes to split geographically within each state and more accurately reflect the voters’ choices; it is just, constitutional and representational.

Our country’s foundation rests firmly on the Constitution. Our republic values the smallest minority — the individual.

Protect Maine’s vote; call your legislators and insist they stop the National Popular Vote.

Paula G. Sutton is a former Republican member of the Maine House of Representatives, representing District 95. She lives in Warren.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 07, 2019 13:28

Ronald, thanks for giving us profound insight into such convoluted interpretations. Politics is getting to be cat-fights and we should be above and beyond that in our enlightened world.

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever



Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Mar 07, 2019 11:11

"Our founders developed the Electoral College to protect each state’s voice?"  Really?  Have you read Hamilton?  It sounds more like it was created to prevent someone like Donald Trump from ever reaching office.

"Consider what Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper Number 68. The Electors were supposed to stop a candidate with “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from becoming President. The Electors were supposed to be “men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”

They were to “possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations” as the selection of the President, and they were supposed to “afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder.” They were even supposed to prevent “the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

Hamilton was talking about demagogues. The word “demagogue” appears in both the first and last Federalist Papers; in Federalist Paper Number 1, for instance, Hamilton worried about the “military despotism of a victorious demagogue.”
http://time.com/4575119/electoral-college-demagogues/

 

Hamilton had his flaws, admittedly, but in this context he sounds absolutely prophetic.



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