February 19, 2016 Radio Commentary

Beware of the National Popular Vote Movement

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, February 19, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

I cringe every time I hear someone say the United States is a democracy. It is NOT a democracy. It is a representative republic where law is supreme and everyone is subject to the law, including leaders.

A democracy is different from a republic, because the majority rules in a democracy. Whatever the majority wants, a majority can vote for and get.

Recently, a bill surfaced in the General Assembly that would be a better fit for a democracy. H.B. 929 introduced by Representative Earl Ehrhart is an Agreement among the States to elect the president by national popular vote. The national popular vote is a movement to by-pass the Electoral College and elect the president by a majority of votes cast throughout the country.

Some say that sounds like a good idea, but they might not know what the Electoral College is and why it was established as the best way to elect our most powerful officials.

The Electoral College is a process to which each state appoints electors to equal the state’s number of senators and congressmen. Meaning, Georgia has 16 electors – one for each of 14 congressmen, plus two more – one for each of our U.S. senators. Electors may be appointed at state party conventions, central committees or they may be listed on the ballot. Georgia’s 16 electors will meet with other state electors at a time and date set by Congress and all 16 votes may or may not be cast for the candidate that got the majority vote in Georgia.The contrast is this: Normally, (a) electors are pledged to cast their votes for the candidate who carried their state, but (b) the national popular vote would count the total state-wide votes for each presidential candidate, add them up, and the candidate with the most votes across the country would become president.

With a national popular vote, densely populated states would always determine who wins the presidency, and less populated states would be insignificant in presidential elections. So, the Electoral College was established to protect smaller states by leveling the playing field in presidential elections.

H.B. 929 is an end-run around the system created by the Founding Fathers to protect smaller states. Call 404 656-7847 and ask Representative Dollar to keep H.B. 929 in his committee. For Georgia Insight, I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent