Sunday, January 6, 2008

N.J. wants to drop out of college.

The Electoral College, that is. Or at least we’re gonna try.

The 2000 election results. Iowa and New Hampshire’s over-inflated level on importance in choosing the presidential nominees. These two elements seemed to have combined to compel states to question the wisdom of how the Democrats and Republicans choose their nominees for president.

The state’s answer to Iowa and New Hampshire is the early primary. Their answer to the Electoral College: National Popular Vote.

The state Senate gave a big thumps up to joining with other states for support of the National Popular Vote ---“interstate compact to skirt the Electoral College by requiring the state's electors to cast their vote for president and vice president based on the national popular vote winner.” The Assembly has already passed the bill, and Governor Corzine is expected to sign it.

According to their website, …Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).”

Thus far, the National Popular Vote, has been, well not too popular. Many sponsors, many bills, but not too many states. Only Maryland is in the compact. NJ would be number 2.

The agreement would take effect only if enough states come aboard to produce 270 of the 538 votes currently needed decide a presidential win -- making it highly unlikely the agreement would affect this year's presidential election.

The always appropriate Senator Leonard Lance, R-Hunterdon, said if the states want to change the Electoral College, it ‘should be done in the appropriate manner’ by amending the Constitution.”

With the election in November, the National Popular Vote movement may be moving too slowly to have any impact on 2008 election. Sooo, we will have to suffer through the Electoral College once again. 270 will still be the Magic Number.

I think we should change the whole thing with a constitutional amendment. But that’s not likely to happen soon, either.

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