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2. Which system protects the interests of small states like Utah?

 

  • Small states have traditionally been concerned that a national popular vote election would allow states with larger populations to undermine their influence. In reality, influence in national elections doesn’t come with a state’s size, but with the uncertainty of its election outcomes.

 

  • Since 2000, only 7 to 12 “battleground” states, ranging from small ones like New Hampshire to large ones like Florida, have controlled the outcome of presidential elections, undercutting the interests of as much as ¾ of the rest of the nation.

  • After a winner-take-all Electoral College election is over, battleground states have a disproportional influence in decisions concerning the shaping of countless government policies, including domestic programs, international trade agreements, federal land management, and even the establishment of national parks and monuments. These same battleground states also receive more federal grants, loans, and more federal regulatory exemptions. Small states will never reap these benefits under the current WTA system of allocating votes. 

 

  • When it's not possible to win entire elections by courting the votes of only 10-12 battleground states, candidates will be required to campaign in previously ignored states like Utah. Utahns cast over a million votes in 2016, that's enough votes worth fighting over. Elections have been won and lost by less.

  • Only 1/6 of the country's population lives inside metropolitan centers votes, but that is balanced out by the 1/6 of the nation's population that lives in rural areas. In a national popular vote, candidates can't win by spending all their time in big cities, there just simply aren't enough votes there to win. Rural areas balance out the more densely populated parts of the country and are critical to winning a presidential campaign.

  • In a NPV election individual votes all over the country would draw in candidates like magnets, giving all states the ear of the future president, (no matter which party wins) and many of the benefits that provides.  Over a million votes were cast in the small state of Utah in 2016. That’s worth showing up for. Many presidential elections have been won or lost by less. When the whole nation is a battleground state, the voters in small states like Utah can no longer be ignored. 

The current winner-take-all system of the Electoral College does exactly the opposite of what its supporters claim: it ignores, not protects the interest of smaller rural states:

A National Popular Vote would make Utah voters as important as voters everywhere: