A Political Mistake Promises Dire Consequences

A political party mistake

Mistakes happen all the time. Sadly, I must report that the Oregon Democratic Party (DPO) is actively making a mistake that could result in dire and devastating consequences.

I try to keep this blog space politically nonpartisan because a non-polarizing perspective is needed to improve presidential elections. Yet, in seeming contrast to this discipline, I’m pointing a finger at my home state’s Democrats. Albeit with good intentions, they are making a mistake that can occur from any political perspective.

Oregon’s Democrats make a mistake

The Oregon Democratic Party has recently adopted a misguided Legislative Action Item (LAI). An LAI is a statement urging a state’s legislators to favor a given perspective or future action.

050218 DPO Logo

The Oregon Democrat LAI in question reads:

Adopt the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in order to assure every citizen’s vote for the positions of President and Vice President of the United States is equal.

The National Popular Vote Compact is a mistake

The National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact rests on the idea that several states agree, as a compact of states, to cast all of their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most national popular votes. The compact will be enacted when the compact’s total electoral votes equal 270. This is the number of electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Though NPV sounds promising, it is a bad and dangerous idea. There are many reasons this is so; but the positives need to be mentioned first.

The NPV folks realize there is something amiss with our Electoral College results. And, they want to remedy the situation. The DPO wants to be onboard for that same purpose. The intent is positive but the remedy they suggest is more emotionally appealing than logically effective.

What NPV fails to do

It must be made clear what the NPV does not do.

  • It does not remove the winner-takes-all approach used by every state and Washington, D.C. This aspect is the true problem that gives us the poor results we endure every presidential election. To read more about this, check out the A Cancer Is Attacking Our Presidential Elections blog.
  • It does not remove the Electoral College. The Electoral College is an ingenious voting mechanism but NPV strives to make it ineffective.
  • It does not respect the concept that our nation is a Republic. Each state is independent yet all are united under a Federal umbrella. The NPV compact seeks to eliminate this principle.

Consequences reveal NPV failure

Consequences matter. Here’s a scenario that could easily come to pass:

Imagine Oregon adopting the NPV approach and imagine, too, that other states join the compact so the 270 electoral votes threshold is met. Imagine if a Republican candidate wins the nation’s popular vote.

  • All seven of Oregon’s electoral votes would be cast for the Republican.
  • Democratic Oregon voters (typically, a majority) would not be represented in the Electoral College results.

When this occurs, what will Oregon Democrats say to each other? Will, “Oops” be enough?

Another previous blog you may find interesting is, NPV Vote Disparity Gives Us Warning. It shows how widely Electoral College and popular vote results vary. In three out of four scenarios shown in the blog, the vote result disparity widens over what we experience today. Electoral College results should closely align with the popular vote while acknowledging the individual state voting voice. NPV cannot promise this.

NPV cannot deliver what it promises

As the blog noted above shows, another real danger would emerge if NPV has its way. Since vote disparity widens voting results, political parties and news media would deliver a false message. Instead of showing how narrowly a candidate may have won, the message would tout a landslide win when there was none.

Additionally, a vote recall is needed if an election is narrowly won. How is a recall conducted if NPV is in place? Would all of the states in the compact need to conduct the recall? Who pays this cost? There is no recall provision in NPV.

What occurs if a state, due to its independency, decides to drop out of the compact, thereby nullifying it? The other compact states would have to revert back to the prior position. It might be assumed they would then suffer the costs of reverting to their previous election process. Confusion would ensue.

Equal Voice Voting is the true fair choice

As stated earlier, the DPO’s sentiment is based on good intentions. It seeks fair elections. Everyone’s vote should count. Voter engagement should be encouraged. NPV cannot deliver this kind of promise.

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) translates the popular vote into electoral votes on a state-by-state basis. Every vote counts and states’ individuality is honored as part of our Republic. EVV eliminates the winner-takes-all approach! Further, EVV requires neither a Constitutional amendment nor the need for an interstate compact.

EVV is fair for all voters. It is not a radical idea, as is NPV; and it honors the fundamental genius of our Electoral College.

Discuss this with others and share this blog with them. Hopefully, Oregon’s legislators will look past the DPO’s recent recommendation. It’s vital that we elect our presidents with Equal Voice Voting.