Mary­land al­ready has a law to by­pass Elec­toral Col­lege

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By ERIN COX

— Mary­land was the first state in the coun­try to agree to by­pass the Elec­toral Col­lege as we know it to­day.

Had enough other states also agreed to the com­pact Mary­land joined in 2007, last week’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion would have been won by Democrat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The deal Mary­land agreed to nine years ago, known as the National Pop­u­lar Vote In­ter­state Com­pact, would side­step the tra­di­tional process and award a ma­jor­ity of the Elec­toral Col­lege votes to the win­ner of the pop­u­lar vote.

But for the com­pact to kick in, states with a com­bined 270 votes need to agree to it. So far, only 10 states and the District of Columbia — which have a com­bined 165 votes — have agreed to the deal. They in­clude such elec­toral pow­er­houses as Cal­i­for­nia, Illi­nois and New York.

This month’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­opened a long-run­ning de­bate about the wis­dom of us­ing the Elec­toral Col­lege to de­ter­mine the na­tion’s com­man­der in chief.

While Clin­ton leads the pop­u­lar vote for


The Bal­ti­more Sun pres­i­dent, Repub­li­can Don­ald J. Trump hand­ily won the Elec­toral Col­lege and, there­fore, the pres­i­dency.

Estab­lished in Ar­ti­cle Two of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, the Elec­toral Col­lege was de­signed to level the play­ing field be­tween smaller states and more pop­u­lous, vote-rich states.

But the sys­tem has long been crit­i­cized, in­clud­ing by Pres­i­dent-elect Trump, who in 2012 called it a “dis­as­ter.”

This week, he wrote on Twit­ter, “The Elec­toral Col­lege is ac­tu­ally ge­nius in that it brings all states, in­clud­ing the smaller ones, into play. Cam­paign­ing is much dif­fer­ent!”

Democrats dis­sat­is­fied with this elec­tion’s re­sults tend to dis­agree.

Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders said last week that the Elec­toral Col­lege makes whole states ir­rel­e­vant.

“Mary­land is to­tally ir­rel­e­vant. ... Repub­li­can can­di­dates are not go­ing to go there,” San­ders told an au­di­ence at the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity on Thurs­day evening. “Demo­cratic can­di­dates are not go­ing to go there. What does that mean for the peo­ple of Mary­land?”

Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Tim Pru­dente con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

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