Let’s make New Mex­ico’s votes count again

A Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote will make all votes count equally, forc­ing na­tion­wide cam­paign­ing

Albuquerque Journal - - OP-ED - BY MELORA PALMER AL­BU­QUERQUE RES­I­DENT

A hand­ful of “swing” states dom­i­nate na­tional at­ten­tion dur­ing pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns. Why? Be­cause “swing” states are closely di­vided po­lit­i­cally, so that a shift in a small num­ber of votes for one can­di­date or an­other can swing 100 per­cent of the state’s elec­toral votes to a can­di­date. This means that the con­cerns of the “swing” state vot­ers are ad­dressed by pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates to the ex­clu­sion of vot­ers in other states.

This un­fair sit­u­a­tion is due to the “win­ner-take-all” pro­vi­sion in Elec­toral Col­lege laws of al­most ev­ery state. The re­sult is that 75 per­cent of the states are vir­tu­ally ig­nored by both par­ties dur­ing a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, in­clud­ing New Mex­ico. It also means that New Mex­i­can votes are not on equal foot­ing with other na­tional votes.

The Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote makes ev­ery vote in ev­ery state equal, so that pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates will have to cam­paign in all 50 states, in­clud­ing New Mex­ico, not just the few “swing” states. And it means that ev­ery vote counts equally, even if com­ing from a smaller Elec­toral Col­lege vote state such as New Mex­ico.

Work­ing within the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and the Elec­toral Col­lege, un­der the Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote, states sim­ply com­mit to award­ing their Elec­toral Col­lege votes to the win­ner of the pop­u­lar vote across all 50 states, thereby guar­an­tee­ing that the win­ner of the pop­u­lar vote will win the pres­i­dency. The Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote takes ef­fect when enough states join­ing add up to the 270 Elec­toral Col­lege votes needed to elect a pres­i­dent.

Al­ready 11 states and the District of Co­lum­bia have passed the Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote for a to­tal of 172 Elec­toral Col­lege votes. It comes be­fore the New Mex­ico Leg­is­la­ture in 2019. We can make a dif­fer­ence by adding our five. The Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote is con­sis­tent with the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, keeps the Elec­toral Col­lege in­tact and pre­serves state’s rights.

It’s time New Mex­ico is rec­og­nized as an equal vot­ing state. Our leg­is­la­tors need to join the Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote! Visit na­tion­alpop­u­lar­votenm.org.

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