Defending the Electoral College since 2009
Apparently, folks at the National Popular Vote (NPV) organization are getting a bit desperate. What else could explain their lying to the Michigan legislature (and Nevada too) about my testimony on one of the more embarrassing defects in the compact?
In early March, I testified about some major problems with NPV. I explained that, contrary to the rhetoric used to promote NPV, it doesn’t actually promise to count every vote in every state. Instead, only votes from states that run their elections according to the compact’s definition of a “statewide popular election” will be included. Here is what I said (minus a few “uhs” and “umms,” available at the committee recording at about 1:08:30):
A couple years ago there was a bill in Arizona proposing that rather than use the “winner take all” system that the state instead award one elector per congressional district as Maine and Nebraska do, but then the two additional electoral votes would be chosen by the legislature. I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other on whether this is a good idea or not, but it’s an interesting idea that’s out there. If Arizona were to do that, National Popular Vote would look at that and say “there is no statewide popular election for electors, so, no votes from Arizona.” That seems like it’s going to be a problem if any state ever adopts an electoral vote allocation process that doesn’t mesh with what the compact requires.
The idea that millions of voters in Arizona – or another state that adopted this idea – would be excluded from the national vote count is, I would imagine, deeply embarrassing for the people pushing the compact claiming that it will make “Every Vote Equal.”
So how are the folks at NPV responding to the revelation of this embarrassing problem? By pretending the bill I described wouldn’t have had millions of Arizona voter going to the polls to pick electors.
In a document titled “Answering 15 False Statements About the National Popular Vote Bill in Michigan (HR 4156 / SB 126),” the team at NPV catalogues what it believes are my “false statements” made to the committee in Michigan and elsewhere this year. Suffice it to say I think it’s almost completely wrong in just about everything the document says, but the issue of that Arizona bill really jumped out at me:
Myth #13: The NPV Compact is flawed because it would not accommodate the Arizona legislature if it decided to authorize itself to choose the state’s presidential electors
Parnell told the Michigan House Elections Committee on March 7, 2023: “A couple of years ago there was a bill in Arizona proposing that … electoral votes would be chosen by the legislature. I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other on whether this is a good idea or not. But it’s an interesting idea that’s out there. If Arizona were to do that, National Popular Vote would look at that and say ‘there is no statewide popular election for electors.’ … That seems like it’s going to be a problem.”
Usually when people edit quotes “…” is used to cut extraneous, duplicative, or unnecessary text but not actually remove anything important to the key point being made. I’ve edited countless quotes myself, trying to ensure I left what was needed to accurately convey what had been said while removing what didn’t need to be there.
The NPV team opted for a different approach, cutting out the references to voters going to the polls in the presidential election in order to make it look like the legislature would be picking all of the state’s electors. This, of course, allows NPV to imply that, since there’s no popular vote totals from Arizona, there’s obviously no way to include popular vote totals from Arizona in the national vote count.
Hopefully legislators (and others) will see through this deception and start asking what else have they been fed by NPV’s lobbyists that isn’t true?
(If anyone wants to read the full “15 False Statements…” document, go here and click on the “Exhibits: AJR 6 Materials in Support by the National Popular Vote” tab on the right – it starts on page 7 of the submitted document. I do have a document I’ve written responding to each of them – a few more of the “myths” are slightly-less-brazen falsehoods than described here, most just show how poorly the people at NPV understand the presidential election process and the compact itself, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like it sent to you).
Time is running out
There is a real, immediate threat to the constitutional way we elect our president. National Popular Vote is 76% of the way to implementing their dangerous plan.