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Defending the Electoral College since 2009

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Defending the Electoral College since 2009

NPV is gasoline on the immigration policy dumpster fire
Trent England • Jun 15, 2023

What’s the wildest claim made when National Popular Vote interstate compact (NPV) lobbyists court Republicans? Probably that NPV is the antidote to illegal immigration’s effect on reapportionment. Those familiar with the issue will laugh this off, but for everyone else, I’ll explain.

The Constitution specifies that congressional seats are apportioned among the states based on total population. The 14th Amendment says: "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.” This means that non-citizens, including illegal aliens, are counted in the census and become part of the basis for the balance of power in Congress—and in the Electoral College.

Enter NPV lobbyists, desperate to pick off a Republican legislator. They say that wiping away state lines from presidential elections will eliminate any distortions based on illegal immigration. This, they suggest, will help Republicans in presidential elections. There are three problems with these claims.

The first is that the effect of illegal immigration on apportionment is so small it would probably never affect an election outcome. Only two presidential elections since the Civil War have had a single-digit margin in electoral votes (in both cases, 1876 and 2000, the Republican won). The second is that the effect of illegal immigration on apportionment is far from one-sided. For example, while California benefits the most, Texas gains some power as well.

By far the biggest problem, however, is that NPV could make the problem much, much worse. Despite widespread opposition, including among many Democrats, the Progressive Left is determined to allow non-citizens to vote. They have enacted policies to enfranchise non-citizens, including illegal aliens, in parts of California, Maryland, and Vermont, and in Washington, D.C. Their policies and practices in some jurisdictions seem designed to allow non-citizens to vote even where it may be nominally illegal.

Today, Maryland's election practices only affect which presidential electors are chosen by Maryland. This is one benefit of the Electoral College, which is designed to contain elections—even for president—within each state. NPV seeks to destroy these safeguards (this is one reason why NPV is unconstitutional). Today, if Maryland or California allow non-citizens to vote, the effects are limited to selecting those states’ electors—and is highly unlikely to change the outcome in either state for the foreseeable future. But under NPV, every ballot counted in one of those states could switch the outcome of NPV’s cabal of states and thus the outcome for the entire nation.

Sure, U.S. immigration policy is a flaming mess. NPV’s scheme to manipulate the Electoral College, forcing it to rubber stamp the popular vote result, would pour gasoline on the flames.

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.