by Dr. Eowyn
Our Founding Fathers created a federal republic, wherein the national government shares political power with state governments, instead of a centralized political system like China or the United Kingdom where political power is in the central government, and whatever powers are exercised by regional and local governments have been delegated to them — and thus, can also be taken away — by the national government.
To enable and uphold the American federation, the Founders created the U.S. Senate, in which each constituent state is represented by two senators, no matter the size of the state’s population. The Electoral College is another institution to prevent presidential elections from being determined by states with very large populations.
Cognizant that human passions can descend into mob-like behaviors, the Founders had another reason for the Electoral College: to prevent a tyranny of the (irrational) majority. The Founders’ fear of majority mob-rule was borne out less than 3 years after they created the Electoral College in 1787 when the French Revolution plunged the country into a decade of chaos and bloodbath.
Still in denial that Hillary Clinton had lost the 2016 presidential election and convinced that she had secured a majority of the popular vote, Democrats are mobilizing to abolish the Electoral College via the National Popular Vote interstate compact. To date, 14 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to give their 189 Electoral College votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote. The pact will only take effect if states holding the majority of the Electoral College’s 538 electoral votes join the agreement.
On May 21, 2019, by a 12-8 vote, the Nevada State Senate passed a bill to give the state’s 6 Electoral College votes to the winner of the presidential election’s national popular vote. Earlier, Nevada’s State Assembly had passed the bill 23-17. The addition of Nevada would boost the National Popular Vote interstate compact’s electoral votes to 195.
Happily, Nevada’s Democrat governor Steve Sisolak, who is threatened with a recall petition, surprised his critics by doing the right thing.
As reported by The Hill, yesterday, Governor Sisolak vetoed Assembly Bill 186 that would have pledged Nevada’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.
Sisolak said in a statement:
After thoughtful deliberation, I have decided to veto Assembly Bill 186.
Once effective, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact could diminish the role of smaller states like Nevada in national electoral contests and force Nevada’s electors to side with whoever wins the nationwide popular vote, rather than the candidate Nevadans choose.
I recognize that many of my fellow Nevadans may disagree on this point and I appreciate the legislature’s thoughtful consideration of this important issue.