National Popular Vote Plot Thickens

by Jonathan Reisman

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact effort by the Democrats and the League of Women Voters to abolish the Electoral College and disenfranchise every right of center voter in the 2nd Congressional District took some ominous steps in recent weeks.

After previously asking Senator Collins (no answer) and Representative Golden (non-responsive response), I sent the following message to Senator King on Nov. 9:

I am writing about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which the Maine Legislature will be voting on in 2024 (LD 1587). I am specifically requesting that you submit legislation granting Congressional consent to this interstate compact, as required by Art 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution.

I believe the NPV is a too-cute-by-half effort to bypass the Constitutional Amendment process and abolish the Electoral College. Further, the NPV would disenfranchise every right-of-center voter in the 2nd CD.

I have also asked Senator Collins and Rep. Golden to sponsor NPV-enabling legislation.

I believe that advocacy for or against the NPV will be an issue in the 2nd CD GOP Congressional primary and in the general election.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

On Nov 13, I got the following non-responsive response from Senator King:

“I share your deep concern for the vulnerabilities in our democracy that President Trump exposed and attempted to exploit over the past few years. From potential abuses of power within the executive branch to the exploitation of previously overlooked ambiguities in our election protocols, I’m glad to have your support for federal efforts to shore up our nation’s longstanding means of determining and certifying the votes that determine who shall hold elected office. One of the greatest successes of the American experiment is the peaceful transition of power. Accountability and audit measures are important to continue to ensure that the will of American voters will prevail. I’ve spoken numerous times about the need to overcome partisanship and bolster the foundations of our democracy—our elections—one such speech is available via the following link: https://youtu.be/2yxkD_5G24E.

“As you are likely aware, as a part of the annual government spending package referred to as the omnibus, both the House and the Senate passed reforms that would address many of the concerns raised about President Trump’s conduct in the White House and as a candidate. I have supported a number of these individual provisions and backed their goals—from reining in presidential pardons to requiring more transparency around presidential candidates’ engagement with foreign individuals. Back in February of 2022, I introduced a discussion draft to inform Senate-wide efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA) of 1887—details are available via this link: https://go.usa.gov/xzE7E. The ECA is a law that dates back to 1887 and provides procedures for how votes from state presidential electors shall be counted. Indeed, Congress passed the ECA after the disputed 1876 presidential election resulted in a deal to elect Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for ending Reconstruction in the former rebelling states of the Confederacy. The reforms made in the 1870s were radical at a time when the telephone and electrical light bulb were first being invented. Now, in our rapidly digitizing age, we need to make our processes safer for democracy and more reflective of our longer national experience.

“The shortcomings of our reliance on the Electoral College instead of a popular vote to decide the White House aside, I believe it is imperative that we quickly work to guard against the outright deception deployed around the 2020 election. It should be completely out of the realm of possibility for anyone involved in an electoral process—especially an incumbent using the power of their current office—to derail an election simply because they don’t like the result.

“In September, as a member of the Senate Rules Committee, I voted to report the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022 (ECRA) out of committee. It passed on a vote of 14-1 and received strong bipartisan support. I’m proud of collaborating with my colleagues to get this historical bill passed in Committee. The final legislation that passed in the omnibus spending bill had provisions to: clarify the role of the Vice President in counting electoral votes; raise the threshold to lodge an objection to electors; expand expedited judicial review for claims of certifying electors; and strengthen the protection of each state’s popular vote by clarifying an archaic law that gives legislatures the option to override the popular vote.

“Our democracy depends on a fair, transparent, and just counting process, and without it, we risk further discouraging voter participation and endangering our democracy and undermining its security.

Again, thank you for your support on this; please be in touch if I may be of service in the future.”

I then sent the following to Golden and King with a cc to Collins:

I was disappointed in your non-responsive response to my request that you submit legislation seeking Congressional approval of the NPV Interstate Compact as required by the Compact Clause.

The NPV will disenfranchise every right-of-center voter in the 2nd CD. Had it been in effect in 2016 and 2020, the 2nd CD electoral vote would not have gone to the candidate a majority of the 2nd CD supported but to his opponent. That seems like a threat to Democracy to me.

I would like a clear response to this question: Are you refusing to submit legislation for Congressional approval of the NPV Interstate Compact?

Although my elected representatives have not deigned to respond, their true positions may have been revealed by several pre-written (and misleading IMO) comments from NPV advocates that quickly appeared on the web (within minutes in one case) when last week’s column was posted on the MVNO web site and Facebook pages. The comments were from a California-based cyber social justice warrior working for corporate social responsibility, the NPV, and probably a whole host of other woke freedom and prosperity destroying causes. Much as I’d like to believe that my Downeast Maine small newspaper columns strike fear into the left and they are monitoring my every word, such prompt attention and effort suggest a heads-up from Representative Golden and/or Senator King and that the NPV advocates are gearing up for the fight in Maine.

As our experience with abortion on demand till birth suggests, the Democratic majorities in the legislature and Gov. Mills will pass their agenda regardless of public testimony and opinion. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact will be approved, and the 2nd Congressional District will not be permitted to electorally support someone like Trump again. The only hope of derailing the NPV Interstate Compact is for Congress to debate and vote against it. Senator King and Representative Golden will not bring it up, and Senator Collins remains silent. Dr.Franklin’s famous quote/warning, “A Republic…if you can keep it,” comes very much to mind.

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