Saturday, January 21, 2017

FL House Bill Seeks Popular Election of President

It’s no coincidence that a Bill pushing a Popular Election of the U.S. President was filed by a Florida House Democrat just hours before the runner up in the popular vote was to be Inaugurated Friday.

House Bill 311, filed by Broward County Democrat Joe Geller, seeks to enact the Agreement Among the States to Elect President by National Popular Vote Compact.

This agreement has been enacted already by 10 States and the District of Columbia. This represents 165 Electoral Votes of the 270 needed to become the President-Elect.

The rationale: “shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from state winner-take-all statutes (i.e., state laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each separate state).”

Buttressing the argument: the disproportionate amount of attention paid to national campaigns, as we saw in Florida down the stretch in 2016.

Abiding by that agreement, via Geller’s bill, requires a statewide popular election for President & Vice President of United States, and establishes procedure for appointing Presidential Electors in Member States.

The bill would be repealed if the electoral College were abolished.

But, since each State decides how Presidential Electors are Elected, when enough States equals 270 Electoral Votes, they will have enough votes to control the Electoral College.

Geller offered an extended statement, printed in full below.

Today, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as our next president.

For the second time since 2000, the winner of the Popular Vote (or as it is called everywhere else in the world, the Vote), will not be sworn in as President. I think that is a problem. My bill will allow Florida to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The bill, if signed into law, would allow the people of Florida to award Florida’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote. Florida would be joining 11 other states, along with the District of Columbia, in deciding to award our Electoral College Votes in this manner. The compact would not take effect until a sufficient number of states (including the District of Columbia), possessing a majority of the 270 electoral votes necessary to be elected President, have signed onto the compact.

The current Electoral College system weakens the effect of each citizen’s voting power in Florida. Florida has 447,202 potential votes for each of its 29 electoral votes, while the state of Wyoming has 70,155 potential votes for each of its 3 electoral votes. As you can see, a vote in Wyoming has more weight and influence than one in Florida.

The results of the 2016 Presidential Election showed that the Electoral College system is outdated and antiquated, and is anti-democratic, being contrary to the rule of one person, one vote. We do not use a similar system for any other election. Joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would assure that all votes are counted and that they all have the same impact in the election of our most important office.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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