A Critique of the National Popular Vote Plan for Electing the President

In this policy briefing, John Samples analyzes the shortcomings of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV), which, if enacted by states possessing a combined total of 270 electoral votes, would result in the direct election of the president of the United States, essentially nullifying the Electoral College. As of September 2011, the NPV Compact has been passed by the legislatures of 9 different states, totaling 132 electoral votes, or 49% of the electoral votes needed to activate it. Among a broad swath of issues, Samples examines how the NPV Compact diminishes federalism, broadens electoral disputes by nationalizing them, and fails to provide any security against states withdrawing from the Compact at any time. Above all, the policy briefing argues that states that candidates disregard now will continue to be disregarded under the NPV Compact. As such, Samples urges states not to join onto the agreement.

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