In response to the April 4 column, “A Democrat’s View: Minnesota DFLers, oppose the national popular vote ,” the League of Women Voters of Duluth would like to share our position on the Electoral College.
The proposed national popular vote bill is not a DFL bill or a Republican bill. It is a bill that would ensure that every voter in every state is politically relevant in every presidential election. It should be supported by all Minnesotans who care to advance our democracy.
The national popular vote bill would not diminish a single voice in presidential elections, nor would it eliminate the Electoral College. In fact, it would give every Minnesotan a permanent voice in impacting at least 270 electoral votes from the compacting states.
Finally, the national popular vote bill would strengthen our democracy and guarantee the presidency to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
What could be more fair or simple than that?
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization. While we do not support any political party or endorse any candidates, we do study issues of political importance, craft informed positions through a consensus-building process, and then advocate for those positions at all levels of government.
In 1970, a League of Women Voters study of our nation’s presidential electoral process resulted in a position supporting the direct election of the president by popular vote, stating that this is “essential to representative government.” Furthermore, the league advocates for the abolition of the Electoral College. This position was amended in 2010 to support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact as another method of selecting the president until such time as the Electoral College is abolished.
To learn more about this issue, visit lwvduluth.org . Under the tab “Events & Newsletter,” choose “Recordings of LWV Events.” There you will find our recent Women of Influence event featuring Eileen Reavey of National Popular Vote. You can also visit that organization’s page regarding myths about the compact: nationalpopularvote.com/answering-myths .
Lori Dando, Mary Faulkner, Anita Gille, Sandy Grandmaison, Jane Hovland, Jeri Quest, and Gwen Thorson are members of the League of Women Voters of Duluth board of directors.
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The Electoral College is often not a well-understood entity. I want to highlight some of the history and shortcomings of this process and offer some possible solutions to replacing this flawed system for the good of the nation and the health of our democracy.
Every four years, the Electoral College, a little-known feature of our Constitution, enjoys a fleeting movement of fame. About six weeks after the long grind of the presidential election is over, the 538 college members meet in their respective states to perform their sole constitutional function: to elect the President and Vice-President of the United States.
But the impact of the college on presidential elections is far greater — and more controversial —than its brief life indicates.
The League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s witness requirement for absentee ballot signatures.