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National Popular Vote to Become Popular in St. Paul

[This story appeared in the 24 October 2008 PIM Weekly Report.]

Every four years the nation collectively focuses on the Electoral
College. In Minnesota, we can expect that focus to continue in the
2009 session of the Legislature.

That’s because the national group working to elect Presidents based on
the popular vote rather than Electoral College votes plans an all-out
effort to pass enabling legislation here by hiring the power of the
public affairs firm of ASI Communications and registering some of their
key, well-respected political advisers on both sides of the aisle to
lobby including former GOP Rep. Tim Commers, DFLer Buck Humphrey, DFLer Mike Misterek, GOPer Pat Rosenstiel and others.

Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution
that needs to be amended in
order for states to change from the current winner-take-all rule. Under
the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary
(complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change
their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at
any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state’s
electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who
receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of
Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical
form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes


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