The United States has enjoyed a remarkably peaceful transfer of power over its 200+ year history. The only civil war we fought was over the issue of slavery, not the fact that Lincoln was elected President. The basis of this stable, peaceful system is the Electoral College, where there is one clear winner under one set of rules. Yet we hear Democrats complaining that Trump is “not my President” due to the fact that Hillary won the 'popular vote', which is not actually a thing.
The Constitution provides that:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
This has provided a number of key benefits to the Republic. We have limited the power of the masses in the cities to elect purely urban candidates and limited the impact of election cheating to the state in which the fraud occurred. It has also reduced the general level of contention around elections. Recall Florida during the Bush Gore election. Endless battles over every vote and hanging chad in the state. But the rest of country was not subject to that level of contention because once each state’s electoral votes were allocated by the election result, there was no need to continue to count votes in every precinct.
The Popular Vote Compact threatens to undo all of that. It is a scheme to re-allocate the electoral votes of individual states away from the winner of the popular vote in the state, to the winner of the popular vote nationally. This would destroy the Electoral College and undermine a pillar of our democracy.
This Compact is intended to allow the Democrats would avoid a situation in which, for example, Hillary Clinton lost decisively in the Electoral College, despite winning the national popular vote.
This Compact is a terrible idea that will lead to division, chaos, and perhaps, civil war.
The Compact ensures that excess votes in places like California and Chicago will have a national influence, and the amount of electoral cheating will increase. The Machine politics and ballot harvesting schemes will now affect the national results in a way they never could before.
It will also slow the results of the election from being final. Most Presidential elections are determined before the voters have gone to bed on Election day. It is the rare exception that the vote counting and voter fraud lasted for weeks. This level of chaos would become the norm, and not just in the swing states, but in every precinct in the nation.
The lawfare, cheating, ballot tampering, ballot box stuffing, vote harvesting will spiral out of control.
The worst effect, however, will be that the Compact will potentially create 2 winners.
Imagine a scenario in which, like the last election, one candidate has a decisive win under the Electoral College and is declared the winner, but the opposing candidate wins the popular vote after 3 or more weeks of recounts and hanging chads. The Terms of the Compact kick in, and the individual College Electors are required to switch their votes to the opposing candidate.
You create a situation in which we have one winner under the system that worked for 200+ years, and another under this scheme of dubious legality.
How do you resolve this impasse? It drastically increases the chances that a candidate, a party, or the people themselves refuse to peacefully transition power to the next administration.
The Popular Vote Compact is a terrible idea that will have disastrous results for the country. We are already an extremely divided people, and a system that creates the potential for additional uncertainty is a recipe for civil war.