national popular vote compact

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Despite efforts to pressure electoral college members to switch their votes to honor the popular vote count, electors chose to seat Donald Trump, a result Congress will ratify next month. While efforts were fervent, they were always unlikely to persuade enough electors to switch their votes. In fact, there has never been a revolt by the College in its entire history.

The New York Times issued a widely circulated op-ed yesterday favoring an end to the electoral college. Although Trump, it wrote, “won under the rules… the rules should change so that a presidential election reflects the will of Americans and promotes a more participatory democracy.” The electoral college, it wrote, “is more than just a vestige of the founding era; it is a living symbol of America’s original sin.” Through the infamous three-fifths compromise, slaves counted towards the electoral college votes of each state, but they were not allowed to vote.  Thus, while a direct popular vote would have placed the Southern states at a disadvantage, the electoral college advantaged them. In large part because of this, seven out of eight of the first U.S. Presidents hailed from a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia, which commanded a massive number of electoral votes.

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