FACT 1 - LD 816, "An Act To Implement the National Popular Vote for President of the United States" is sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson (D).
This bill seeks to nullify the Electoral College by entering Maine into an “interstate compact,” binding Maine’s 4 Presidential Electoral Votes to the so-called “National Popular Vote.”
If passed, this law would go into effect once a number of states representing a majority of the 538 Presidential Electors join the compact.
Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia have entered the interstate compact, accounting 172 electoral votes (32% of total electoral votes), including:
California (55), New York (29), Illinois (20), New Jersey (14), Washington (12), Massachusetts (11), Maryland (10), Connecticut (7), Rhode Island (4), Hawaii (4), Vermont (3) and Washington, D.C. (3)
Legislation to join the compact is pending in 17 additional states, accounting for an additional 167 electoral votes (31% of total electoral votes), including:
Florida (29), Ohio (18) Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Indiana (11), Arizona (11), Minnesota (10), Colorado (9), South Carolina (9), Oregon (7), Nevada (6), Kansas (6), New Mexico (5), Maine (4), New Hampshire (4), Idaho (4) and Delaware (3).
If passed in enough states this year, NPV could be put into effect for the 2020 Presidential Election.
FACT 2 - The Electoral College ensures small states (like Maine) have a voice in the election of US Presidents.
As a small population state, Maine represents 0.4% of the national population, but 0.74% of the Electoral College.
A National Popular Vote system would cut Maine’s voting power in nearly half and primarily benefit large population states like California, New York and Texas.
FACT 3 - A National Popular Vote fails the standard of “one person, one vote” because there are no universal standards for voting across all 50 states.
Qualifications for Voters: There is no universal standard for who can vote.
- In some states (like Maine) convicted felons are allowed to vote (even while serving in prison), while in other states (like Iowa) they lose their voting rights for life.
- Meanwhile, states like Oregon and Hawaii have proposed lowering the voting age to 16 years old, while the rest of the states maintain the voting age at 18 years old.
Methodology for Voting: There is no universal standard for how people vote.
- Some states (like Oregon) require people to vote by mail, while most states (like Maine) allow people to vote in person on Election Day.
- Most states (like Wisconsin) require voters to present identification to vote, while others (like Maine) do not.
- Some states (like Maine) allow same-day voter registration, while other states (like Florida) do not.
FACT 4 - The Electoral College protects against voter fraud, whereas a National Popular vote system would increase potential for corruption.
Under NPV, ballot stuffing in Chicago or North Carolina would negate our votes here in Maine. Under the Electoral College, the integrity of Maine’s vote is protected because votes across America are compartmentalized by state.
An additional benefit of “compartmentalization” by the Electoral College is that Presidential elections are commonly decided by “swing states” (like Maine and New Hampshire) where the two major parties are likely to share power. This power sharing creates accountability and oversight structures over elections in these states that are less common in states dominated by a single political party (like California and Texas).
FACT 5 - The Electoral College makes recounts manageable, whereas a National Popular Vote system would make recounts a colossal logistical nightmare.
Recounts of individual states under the Electoral College system can be expensive and chaotic (as we witnessed in Florida during the 2000 election), but these efforts are simple compared to the giant circus that would result from a nationwide recount.
Over 129 million votes were cast nationwide in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Can you imagine a national recount requiring each and every one of these ballots to be hand counted?
FACT 6 - The "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" is unconstitutional under Article I, Section 10 of the US Constitution.
Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 explicitly reads: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress... enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State..."
This proposed interstate compact is not being acted on with the consent of Congress, thereby making it unconstitutional.
Just the Facts.
The Free Maine Campaign is fighting to defeat the passage of LD 816 and #SaveMainesVoice.
And if you believe our work is valuable,
please chip in $50, $25 or even $5 to support
the Free Maine Campaign's efforts to protect the freedoms and paychecks of all Maine people.