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St. Louis, MO 63146
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November 28th, 2016
Discussion of the Day — Electoral College or Popular Vote?
This is a big question looking forward. In 48 states the electoral vote is awarded on a winner take all basis. Only Maine and Nebraska proportionally split their electoral votes. 2016 marks only the second time since 1888 that one candidate for president won the majority of the popular vote, while the other won the presidency through the vote of the Electoral College. Al Gore (2000) and Hillary Clinton each won the popular vote.

Many of you have expressed interest in abolishing or modifying the Electoral College. In my opinion, the best alternative currently under discussion is the National Popular Vote Project.

The National Popular Vote Project would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Basically this is a compact with a collection of states wherein they agree to pledge their electoral votes to the candidate that receives the majority of the popular vote; but the compact will not take effect until enough states together control the 270 votes necessary to win the presidency. Thus far, it has been enacted into law in 10 states (and the District of Columbia) with 165 electoral votes:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • District of Columbia
105 more electoral votes are needed to activate the compact. The number of states is irrelevant, it is the number of electoral votes that will make the difference.

Representative Tony Dugger (R) introduced the National Popular Vote bill (HB 1959) in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2016; I was one of 43 co-sponsors. It was passed out of the Select Committee on State and Local Governments with a unanimous bipartisan vote; however it never made it to the House floor. Unfortunately so far, there is no Republican stepping up to offer the bill during the coming session. The reality with the Missouri House of Representatives is that Republican bills are considered first; and only a few Democrat bills are even assigned to a commitee early enough to stand any chance at consideration before the end of the session. With the 2016 presidential results, the sense of urgency for the majority of legislators in Missouri has passed.

Similar legislation was introduced in 2012, 2009, 2007 and 2006. Each time it seems to advance a little further in the process; progress that I hope will continue in a forward direction.

In my opinion, one compelling reason to adopt this plan comes from an analysis of the number of formal campaign appearances, by the candidate or running mate, in each state.

When you look at the map, it's obvious that it is the so-called battleground states that receive the serious attention, with others being ignored altogether.

Another thing to think about is how much money is donated to a candidate in relation to the attention given to that state. 12 states had a total of 375 visits, while 21 visits were made to 14 states and 24 states were not visited. I guess Missouri counts a little bit as we received two visits. Doesn't every vote count? Apparently not!

For more (far more) information on this, follow the link to the National Popular Vote website.
As always

Thank you for your support, and for giving me the opportunity to represent you in Jefferson City.
Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul.

— Mark Twain —
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