Trashing the 12th Amendment with the National Popular Vote
By Publius Huldah
The compact for a National Popular Vote (NPV) is a destructive scheme. Yet it’s been approved by several States; and is pending in others. Since the text of the compact no longer seems to be set forth on the NPV website, we’ll look at the NPV bill previously filed in Tennessee.
In a nutshell, the compact seeks to evade the 12th Amendment to our Constitution (where the States elect the President); and substitutes a national popular vote where inhabitants of major metropolitan areas elect the President.
The Constitution our Framers gave us
The federal government created by our Constitution is a Federation of Sovereign States united under a federal government for those limited purposes itemized in the Constitution; with all other powers reserved by the States or the People.
So that The States – The Members of the Federation – could maintain their independence and sovereignty, our Framers wrote these provisions into our Constitution:
- State Legislatures were to choose the U.S. Senators for their State (Art. I, §3, cl. 1); and,
- The States, as separate political entities, were to elect the President (Art. II, §1, cls. 2 & 3).
The People were to elect only their Representatives to the House (Art. I, § 2, cl.1).
James Madison explains in Federalist No. 45 (7th para), why this ensured that The States would maintain control over the federal government:
“The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government …Without the intervention of the State legislatures, the President of the United States cannot be elected at all. They must in all cases have a great share in his appointment, and will, perhaps, in most cases, of themselves determine it. The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State legislatures. …Thus, each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments …” [boldface mine]
The result of State Legislatures choosing the U.S. Senators and controlling the election of the President [via the selection of Electors], was that the States would be able to control the federal government.
The 17th Amendment
But we threw away one of these safeguards when we foolishly ratified the 17th Amendment with the popular election of U.S. Senators. This is how The States – The Members of the Federation – lost their representation in Congress and their control of the Senate.
Art. II, §1, cl. 2 and the 12th Amendment
We abandoned the other safeguard when we foolishly ignored the procedures in the 12th Amendment where small bodies of specially chosen wise and prudent men (Electors) made the selections of President and Vice President for their State. We allowed Electors to become rubber stamps for the popular vote in their State.
Our Framers didn’t want popular election of the President because they recognized that People are easily manipulated by those who take advantage of their “hopes and fears”, to steer them towards candidates favored by powerful groups (Federalist No. 64 (3rd & 4th paras; Federalist No. 68, etc.).
Furthermore, under the 12th Amendment, the electoral votes of each State are split according to how the Electors vote. If Tennessee obeyed the 12th Amendment, it would work like this when selecting President: 5 Electors vote for Candidate X; 4 vote for Candidate Y; and 2 vote for Candidate Z. Those would be the vote totals for President which would be sent to Congress. The same procedures are to be followed in a separate vote for Vice-President. 1 The “winner takes all” practice followed in most States is unconstitutional!
How The National Popular Vote Scheme Will Work
Under the scheme incorporated in the NPV bill previously filed in Tennessee, all of Tennessee’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.
The wording of the compact is deliberately obscure. In plain English, this is what it does:
Each Member State will conduct a statewide popular election for President and Vice President.
(a) & (b) The State Election official in each Member State will add up the votes cast in all the States and the D.C. to get the total number of votes cast nationally for each presidential ticket. The State official will then designate the presidential ticket with the largest number of votes nationally as the “national popular vote winner”.
(c) & (g) Electors will then be appointed in each Member State who are to cast all their votes for the national popular vote winner.
So! If the popular vote in Tennessee is for James Madison, but the total national popular vote favors Adolf Hitler, then all of Tennessee’s 11 Electoral Votes are awarded to Adolf Hitler.
Indeed, the winner of the national popular vote will end up with all the electoral votes for every State. And do not think that the winner will fail to claim a “Mandate” for whatever he wants to do.
The States Can’t Lawfully Enter Into A Compact Which Violates The U.S. Constitution!
Every aspect of the NPV violates the 12th Amendment. It sets up a method of electing the President and vice-President which is altogether repugnant to our Constitution.
Furthermore, Art. I, §10, last clause, prohibits States from “enter[ing] into any Agreement or Compact with another State” “without the Consent of Congress”. So, whether the NPV Compact also violates Art. I, §10, last clause, depends on whether Congress consents to it. But Congress may not lawfully consent to unconstitutional compacts of the States!
Under The NPV Scheme, Votes From Major Metropolitan Areas Will Decide Presidential Elections.
Most of the Population of these United States is located in a few major metropolitan areas. Under the NPV scheme, these areas would decide the elections for President!
See this “extremely detailed map” which depicts the areas which voted for Trump (shown in red) and the areas which voted for Clinton (shown in blue) in the last presidential election.
The NPV is not about “making every vote count”. The NPV is about guaranteeing that every future presidential election is decided by inhabitants of major metropolitan areas (those few areas shown in blue).
Arguments of the NPV lobby
♦They complain that State winner-take-all statutes award all of a State’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in the State.
But their scheme substitutes a national winner-take-all system! That’s better?
♦They complain that presidential candidates pay no attention to the issues of concern to voters in States where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion.
But presidential candidates aren’t supposed to pay attention to anything other than those few issues which have been delegated to the federal government in our Constitution! The notion that the federal government’s job is to handle the different issues which concern people of particular geographical locations, or gender, or sexual orientation, or religion, or race, or ethnicity, or social background, and so forth, is poison. That’s not the job of the federal government, and it’s not the job of the President!
♦They complain that battleground states get more money in federal grants, more presidential declarations of disaster, more exemptions from Superfund enforcement, and more exemptions from the “no child left behind” law.
And I ask, what do federal grants, presidential declarations of disaster, Superfund enforcement, and federal education dictates – all have in common? They are all unconstitutional! There is no authority in the Constitution for any of these programs.
♦They complain that four times in our history, candidates have been elected who didn’t win the most votes nationwide.
Well, boo hoo! The purpose of the Electoral College is so smaller States will have a voice – our Framers rejected the idea of a national popular vote.
♦They complain that presidential candidates spend money and have campaign events only in battleground States.
But with a national popular vote, there won’t be any battleground States because it will be a foregone conclusion that every election will be won by the candidate who appeals to those in the large urban areas.
The NPV scheme makes it easy to steal a presidential election
Joseph Stalin said, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”
We are told that Clinton got 2.8 million more votes nationwide than did Trump. Whether she really did or didn’t isn’t the point because that’s what the vote counters said.
With the NPV scheme in place, the vote counters can fabricate enough votes to steal every presidential election. Even if an election were honest in most States – a few large States where cheats control the machines – can throw a national election.
The number of Electoral Votes is fixed at 538. Cheaters can’t manufacture Electoral Votes out of thin air. But the number of popular votes said to have been cast in a presidential election is limited ONLY by the depth of the depravity of corrupt party officials, corrupt campaigns, and corrupt election officials.
Here’s another way to steal the election:
The NPV bill describes how votes will be reported by States who joined the Compact: The chief election official of each State – that’s the Secretary of State – is to communicate to the other State Secretaries of State, the number of popular votes cast in his State. These Reports are considered to be “conclusive”.
And that’s how each State Secretary of State finds out who won the national popular vote – it’s what the other Secretaries of State tell him – and what they tell him is “conclusive”.
The NPV scheme gives illegal aliens power to choose our President
In California, Clinton supposedly got 4.3 million more votes than Trump.
How many of these votes were cast by illegal aliens? California now allows illegal aliens to vote in elections:
During 2013, California passed a law, AB 60, permitting illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses.
During 2015, California passed a Motor Voter Law, AB 1461, which provides that when you get a driver’s license in California, you are automatically registered to vote. This law pays lip service to “citizens” voting – but there are no provisions for requiring “citizenship” as a prerequisite to being registered to vote.
And the Law specifically says that if a person who is ineligible to be registered to vote is registered and then votes, that person will be presumed to have acted with official authorization and shall not be guilty of fraudulently voting unless that person willfully votes knowing he isn’t entitled to vote.
So yes, illegal aliens who have driver’s licenses can vote in California – they were automatically registered to vote when they got their drivers’ licenses. If they’re caught, all they have to say is, “I thought I was entitled to vote since the State DMV registered me to vote.”
How many illegals made up the 8,753,788 votes Clinton supposedly got in California? With a NPV, this kind of shenanigans in just one large State can determine the outcome of an election.
What Should We Do?
Oppose the National Popular Vote scheme – do not let the few blue areas determine our Fate.
Return to the 12th Amendment. We must dismantle the present unconstitutional and corrupt system and return to the method of electing the President and Vice President established in our Constitution. State Legislators could restore to their States right now the power to control the President! All States have to do is obey the 12th Amendment! Also, specially chosen Electors are far more likely to choose good Presidents than the ignorant masses which fill our major cities.
Even in its present perverted form, the “Electoral College” serves two important purposes: (1) It balances the influence of the heavily populated urban areas with the more sparsely populated rural areas; and (2) gives the smaller States a voice in the election of President.
As a People, we need to STOP being so eager to amend a Constitution we have never read and don’t understand.
1 For an illustration of how voting under the 12th Amendment is to be conduct