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NPV Compact Quirks: Results Required Only in Compact States
Trent England • Aug 23, 2023

What are possible pitfalls of implementing John Koza’s NPV interstate compact? In an overheated and litigious political environment, this is a crucial question. Yet NPV lobbyists often respond to such questions with little more than handwaving.

An example: The compact requires each member state’s chief election officer to determine, for that state, the national popular vote results. This relies on the cooperation of non-compact states—something that cannot be guaranteed. Koza’s lobbyists insist all this is easy, obvious, silly even to talk about. After all, they say, current federal and state laws provide for multiple sources of election returns.

One rebuttal to this, however, is the text of the NPV compact. If the process is so easy, why does the compact create a new vote-reporting document for compact states? Here is what the compact says:

At least six days before the day fixed by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, each member state shall make a final determination of the number of popular votes cast in the state for each presidential slate and shall communicate an official statement of such determination within 24 hours to the chief election official of each other member state.

The compact does not rely on pre-existing election processes for obtaining vote totals from compacting states—the only states NPV can control. Instead, it creates a new document and deadline for vote totals. Why? The drafters of the NPV compact understood that pre-existing laws might not be enough to make the compact work. Otherwise, the above-quoted compact section would be pointless.

This raises a serious question: If pre-existing laws are not good enough for collecting vote totals from compacting states, are they really sufficient for obtaining vote totals from non-compacting states?

In my next post on “NPV Compact Quirks,” I’ll address a less common but more concerning response from NPV lobbyists: compact states might just ignore non-compact states altogether.