Should New Hampshire pass legislation to bypass the Electoral College?
By: LFDA Editor
When all is said and done, it's the Electoral College vote -- not the popular vote -- that decides the presidency. Some states are considering legislation that essentially bypasses the Electoral College. Should New Hampshire join in?
The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors from the all of the states. New Hampshire has four of those electors. The candidate who wins the vote in a state wins the electors. The candidate who wins the most electors nationally wins the presidency.
In the 2000 presidential election, Democrat Al Gore received 50,999,897 votes; Republican George Bush received 50,456,002. In the Electoral College count, however, Bush tallied 271 electors to Gore's 266. Bush became the president.
Following that controversy, some states passed the National Popular Vote bill. That bill awards the state's Electoral College votes to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally, not the candidate who wins the state.
Supporters of the National Popular Vote bill say the the current Electoral College system is confusing and causes candidates to focus unduly on a handful of battleground states with high elector counts, such as Florida.
Critics of the bill say it could create even more confusing scenarios than exist now. For example, the candidate that wins nationally might lose in New Hampshire. In that case, the state's four electoral votes would still go to the national-winning candidate who was not supported by Granite State voters.
According to the National Popular Vote website, eleven states and Washington, D.C. have passed the National Popular Vote bill.
HB 148, sponsored by Cheshire District 16 Democrat Charles Weed, called for the direct popular election of president. That bill was killed in the House.
Two opposing proposals went before the Legislature's 2012 session. HJR 20, proposed by Democratic Rep. John Cloutier of Claremont, urged Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College. That bill died in March 2012.
In contrast, HCR 42, proposed by Fremont Republican Rep. Daniel Itse, "expresses support for preserving" it. That resolution passed both the House and Senate, although "expressing support" has no legal consequence.
New Hampshire considered the National Popular Vote bill in 2009 in the form of HB 417, but the bill died in the House.
Is the Electoral College system broken, or do you think it should stay just as it is?