Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The law provides in part:
Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each presidential slate in each State of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate.
The chief election official of each member state shall designate the presidential slate with the largest national popular vote total as the “national popular vote winner.”
The presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment in that official’s own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association with the national popular vote winner.
Massachusetts is the sixth state (after Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawai’i and Washington) to pass the law, which will only become effective when “states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form and the enactments by such states have taken effect in each state.”
The organization also contends the state compact is well within the ambit of Article II section 1 clause 2 : “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." In brief, if the Legislature directs that the state electors cast their votes for whoever won the popular, then that would meet the constitutional requirement.
Subsequent constitutional amendments regarding presidential elections - - - Twelfth Amendment,Twentieth Amendment (regarding term to start in January), Twenty-third Amendment (including the District of Columbia within the Electoral College - - - do not alter this state power.
Congressional attempts to abolish the electoral college by constitutional amendment have not gained traction.
[SEE COMMENTS FOR FURTHER DISCUSSIONS OF CONGRESSIONAL ROLE].
[image: 2012 electoral college map via]