This year, North Dakota became the latest state to condemn the National Popular Vote interstate compact (NPV). Both chambers of the state legislature passed Senate Bill 2271, stating that they “oppose the national popular vote interstate compact, which would circumvent the electoral process set forth in the United States Constitution.” It further commits the state to develop a strategy “to defeat the effort of the national popular vote interstate compact to ensure the electoral college process is preserved as prescribed in the United States Constitution.”
The bill passed the North Dakota House of Representatives by a margin of 80-12, with all 78 voting Republicans and 2 Democrats supporting it. The bill passed the North Dakota Senate with a margin of 39-8, with 39 of 40 Republicans supporting the measure.
The NPV plan is clever and uniquely dangerous. It was created by people who want to eliminate the Electoral College. Because that would take a constitutional amendment—which is very difficult—they came up with the NPV plan to force the Electoral College system to rubber stamp the national popular vote result. This overlay of one system on another probably wouldn’t work, resulting in uncertainty and litigation. At best it would leave it to judges to decide the rules—or outcomes—of presidential elections. At worst, NPV would cause a full-scale constitutional crisis.