The Blog

How To Win the Presidency

. . . with 15 percent of the popular vote.

12:00 AM, Jul 17, 2009 • By TARA ROSS
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There are other inconsistencies among states' ballots that would skew the election results. Some states allow felons to vote. Others do not. States differ in their requirements for ballot qualification. Inevitably, some states would have to abide by national election results derived from policies with which they disagree.

It gets worse. States have different criteria for what does (or does not) trigger recounts within their borders. These differences could cause a whole host of problems. What if the national total is close--close enough to warrant a recount--but a recount can't be conducted because the margins in individual states were not close? Or perhaps recounts are conducted, but only in two or three states, each with a different idea of how to count a hanging chad. Perhaps a fourth state would see what is going on and choose to conduct a recount that its statutes previously deemed optional. Maybe this fourth state has a different definition of "hanging chad," and its sole goal is to counteract the efforts of the other states.

Such a state of affairs invites chaos, litigation, and confusion each and every election year. Some voters will be disenfranchised by the widely differing ideas of how to count a vote.

What if such problems caused one state to pull out of the compact in violation of its terms? How would compliance be enforced? How much litigation would ensue before the presidential election could be resolved?

Formally eliminating the Electoral College through a constitutional amendment would be unhealthy for the country. But NPV's efforts to skirt the constitutional amendment process is even worse. At least a constitutional amendment would give Americans the opportunity to put one national set of rules and one national process in place before pretending that it is possible to come up with one national tally of voters' preferences.

Defenders of the Constitution need to rise up, take action, and defeat NPV before it is too late.

Tara Ross is the author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College.