New York the latest state to sign compact to end electoral college
Governor Cuomo has signed off on the National Popular Vote Compact, giving New York's 29 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
Count New York in.
The Empire State has joined the National Popular Vote compact with legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
States that have signed on to the interstate agreement will award electoral votes for president to the candidate who receives the majority of the national popular vote.
"With the passage of this legislation, New York is taking a bold step to fundamentally increase the strength and fairness of our nation's presidential elections," said Cuomo. "By aligning the Electoral College with the voice of the nation's voters, we are ensuring the equality of the votes and encouraging candidates to appeal to voters in all states, instead of disproportionately focusing on early contests and swing states."
Under the winner-take-all system, candidates for president have taken to ignoring states that are reliably Republican or Democratic, like New York, while focusing their attention and resources on a smaller group of battleground or swing states.
While New York has more than 13 million voters, ranking fourth in the nation, it is last when it comes to presidential spending.
New York joins the District of Columbia and nine states in signing on to the compact -- including California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The legislation utilizes New York state's right under the U.S. Constitution to award its 29 electoral votes in any manner it deems appropriate, in this case to the winner of the national popular vote.
However, it only takes effect once enough other states have signed on so the compact possesses a majority of the Electoral College's 538 votes.
The compact currently contains 165 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
Notice anything strange about that list of states signed up for the compact? Gee - they're all blue states. That's because unless there is a sea change in attitudes toward the parties, the adoption of the compact will be the end of GOP competitiveness in national elections.
There is a massive difference between the GOP receiving 65% of the vote in Utah and Wyoming and the Democrats getting 65% of the vote in California and New York. The board will tilt decisively toward the big states. The population concentration in the big states will allow Democrats to maximize their spending per voter making it, by comparison, much less expensive than for Republicans who will have to scramble in the hinterlands to drum up votes. It will also make big cities far more important to the total vote - Democratic party territory.
The US is a federal republic. You lose some of that character if you ditch the electoral college.