MYTHS ABOUT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND THE NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE

MYTH #1: The Electoral College protects the interest of smaller states from domination by larger ones. 

BUSTED! 

  • It does exactly the opposite of what its advocates claim, not protecting, but ignoring the interests of three-quarters of the American electorate by rendering it politically irrelevant.

  • In 2016, two-thirds (273 of 399) of the general-election campaign events were in just 6 states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Michigan). 94% of the 2016 events (375 of the 399) were in just 12 states.

  • 1/6 of the nation lives in the cities and votes around 60% Democrat. They are balanced out by the 1/6 of the nation that lives in rural areas and votes around 60% Republican. Add those regions to the 2/3 of the nation living in the suburbs, split almost evenly between the two major parties, and no one group dominates. Instead, one whole and complete nation casts votes that matter in a presidential election.

MYTH #2: With a national popular vote system, only 10-12 big states would determine the presidential election.

BUSTED! 

  • It’s exactly the opposite. The Electoral College’s winner-take-all system forces candidates to concentrate their efforts in just 10-12 battleground states (small and large) where the electoral outcome is uncertain. They ignore the interests of the other 38-40 “safe” states rendering them politically irrelevant. A national popular vote would turn the entire country into a battleground state, making a vote in Utah equal to a vote in Florida.

MYTH #3: A national popular vote would result in constant recounts that would be impossible to complete.

BUSTED! 

  •  It would do exactly the opposite. Under the current Electoral College winner-take-all system, there is the opportunity for 51 separate (states and DC) artificial recount crises: Florida recount in 2000: a margin of only 537 popular votes became critical despite the fact that there was nationwide margin of 537,000 votes and, it was never completed. The recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2016, were halted or resulted in no change.

  • None of the nation’s presidential elections has ever been close enough, that a nationwide recount would have changed the winner of the national popular vote. Recounts become less likely as the pool of votes gets larger, as it would be under a national popular vote election. The infamous 537 votes from 2000 in a pool of 125 million popular votes would be a literal drop in the ocean.

MYTH #4:  If a NPV Interstate Compact member state doesn't like an election's outcome, it could leave the Compact and have its electors vote for the candidate its state favors.

BUSTED! 

  • By law, the only day to choose electors, is election day. By becoming a member of the NPV Interstate Compact, members states cannot break the Compact without breaking state AND federal laws. NPV Compact member states also sign on to 6-month "blackout" period, and may not leave the Compact anytime from July of an election year until the end of January the following year. That period covers both parties' nomination conventions, election day, the date when electors vote and Inauguration Day.

MYTH #5:  The winner-take-all system of the Electoral College favors Republicans...

BUSTED!

  • ...only if the weather does too. A county-by-county study performed by the Oklahoma Weather Lab at the University of Oklahoma, indicated that sunnier weather, would have flipped electoral votes for Al Gore in Florida, in 2000, and Bill Clinton, in North Carolina, in 1992.

  • A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Mitt Romney despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

  • The country also only narrowly averted a split between the popular vote and the Electoral College majority in 1960, 1968, 1976, 1992 as well. It's just a matter of time before the popular vote and the Electoral College diverge again, with the Republicans on the losing side.  

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