Elijah Bacal: Time to adopt the National Popular Vote compact

  • In this Nov. 24, 2000, file photo, Broward County, Fla. canvassing board member Judge Robert Rosenberg uses a magnifying glass to examine a disputed ballot at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Founding Fathers set up the Electoral College to ensure a well-informed, geographically diverse group of electors would choose the nation’s presidents. That sounds rational — and sometimes it even works. But the history of the Electoral College also includes tales of tie votes, hanging chad, conniving politicians and intrigue. AP photo

Published: 6/20/2019 4:07:41 PM
Modified: 6/20/2019 4:07:31 PM

The Electoral College is an outdated system that was built on a distrust of the American public by the founding fathers, who did not believe in a complete democracy, and wanted the upper class to have the ultimate say in elections.

They created the Electoral College, which is a primitive and exclusionary system that must be fixed in order to ensure the equality and fairness of our elections.

There are arguments in favor of keeping the Electoral College and against a national popular vote. One argument posits if the Electoral College were abolished, presidential candidates would only focus on big cities, and ignore smaller states and rural areas.

However, candidates today ignore most of the country in favor of battleground or “swing” states. In the 2016 general election, two-thirds of campaign events and spending were focused on just four states. Luckily, there is a solution that will end this inequality. It’s called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

The compact is a bill that will ensure the president is elected by a national popular vote. It is passed on a state-by-state basis, and it will cause electors within each of the signatory states to vote for the candidate who wins the national popular vote, not the winner of the popular vote within their state. The compact will only go into effect when states possessing a total of 270 electoral votes — the amount of electoral votes needed to win — have signed on to the compact.

As of today, states, including Massachusetts, possessing a total of 189 electoral votes, or 70 percent of the 270 votes needed to win an election, have signed on. If you know anyone who lives in a state that hasn’t passed the bill yet, encourage them to contact their representatives.

The Electoral College is a problem that affects every American, and it’s time to replace it with a system that ensures everyone is represented equally. If the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact goes into effect, we will create politicians that work for all Americans, elections that count every vote equal and a stronger democracy.

 Elijah Bacal

Northampton

The writer is an eighth grader at the Montessori School of Northampton.



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