Legislator wants Florida’s Electoral College votes to go to popular vote winner

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Sign outside early vote location in West Tampa. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (October 2012).

Donald Trump won the Electoral College despite the fact that three million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton; a Democratic member of the Florida House calls the Electoral College an “obsolete, archaic, and anti-democratic system” and has filed a bill in the state Legislature (HB 367) that would require Florida to join something called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. It would force member states to assign all Electoral College votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote once states representing a majority of Electoral College votes join the compact.

WMNF News interviewed Joseph Geller, who represents parts of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.

Listen:

“We still have a system that does not represent one person, one vote. Since the 1960s, we’ve reapportioned our legislatures. We’ve had a lot of advances in how congress is apportioned, to make sure that everyone’s vote counts are the same, but, that’s not the case with the electoral college. Because the small states get this automatic two electoral votes, representing their senators–every state, of course, has two U.S. senators–the result is that in smaller states, it takes a lot less people to represent one electoral college vote. For example, if you lived in Wyoming, every 85,300 votes counts for one electoral vote, but, in the state of Florida, with our much larger population, 327,700 people’s votes count for one electoral vote. So, if you live in Wyoming, your vote counts almost four times as much as every voter, here in Florida. That’s not fair.”

“…That states would agree to instruct their electors to vote for whoever wins the national popular vote when the votes are counted up. Remember the electoral college doesn’t actually meet until generally like late December, early January, before the electoral college actually meets to cast its votes, so there’s plenty of time for the results to be compiled. Now, any state who signs on–ten states have passed this already, along with the District of Columbia–any state that signs on to this would do so with the proviso: it wouldn’t take effect until enough states, constituting 270 electoral votes, which is the majority it takes to win, have signed onto it. If Florida joined the national popular vote interstate compact, it would bring the total of electoral votes committed to 194. That’s kinda starting to get within striking distance of the 270 that you need. Florida with 29 electoral votes would be a big plus.

“Typically, the states that it’s passed have been democratic leaning states, but, it has passed one house or the other in some republican leaning states, like Arizona or Kansas, it’s passed either through their State House or their State Senate, so there is at least some chance other states would sign on. Florida would give it a lot of momentum, being a swing state like we are and the most important thing, again, is it would guarantee that everyone’s vote for President counts the same. People in Wyoming, voting for President shouldn’t have 4 times the vote of every voter in Florida. It’s undemocratic.

“In every country around the world that votes for a President, it’s based on the so called “popular vote”. In fact, what we call the ‘popular vote,’ in every place else in the world, is just called ‘the vote.'”

Geller represents state House District 100 in northeast Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward Counties.

 

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