RI Legislature to RI: We’d Prefer That Someone Else Choose Your Presidential Electors For You

Over at the Providence Daily Dose, State Representative David Segal (D-Providence) is rationalizing that his vote to marginalize the right of Rhode Islanders to choose their own Presidential electors makes government more democratic. Watch out, because any time now, we may start to hear that the political process can be made even more democratic (and maybe more Democratic) if we decide to award legislative seats in every district to the political party receiving the most legislative votes statewide!
Fortunately (at least at the Federal level) there are Constitutional protections against a legislature disenfranchising its own voters for political reasons. But for those interested, for whatever reason, in bringing the apportionment of electoral votes more in-line with the popular vote, there is a clearly Constitutional solution that’s been pointed out by Anchor Rising commenter “Rammer”…

The potential to win the Electoral College, but lose the popular vote for President only exists because of the fixed number of seats in the Senate, which is Constitutionally mandated at two per State. Historically this sort of mismatch happens once every century or so, but if that is too often then there is no need for interstate compacts or Constitutional Amendments, by changing one law we could substantially reduce the possibility.
The simple fix is to increase the number of seats in the U.S. House from 435 to twice that number or more. Those seats would be apportioned by population and the weight of the Senate votes in the Electoral College would be reduced proportionally.

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15 years ago

There is a constitutional problem with this legislation.
Article II, sec. 1 of the R.I. Constitution provides the following guarantee:

Every citizen of the United States of the age of eighteen years or over who has had residence and home in this state for thirty days next preceding the time of voting, who has resided thirty days in the town or city from which such citizen desires to vote, and whose name shall be registered at least thirty days next preceding the time of voting as provided by law, shall have the right to vote for all offices to be elected and on all questions submitted to the electors . . .

The so-called “National Popular Vote” legislation deprives R.I. voters of the right to select those who will fill the office of elector for the State of R.I. Instead, the office of elector for R.I. will be chosen by the National Popular Vote.
This abridges the R.I. Constitution, and presumably the legislation in other states would likewise violate provisions of their own constitutions.
Unfortunately, the proponents of this bill do not seem to care about abridging rights guaranteed by the R.I. Constitution.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

Segal is still in the manic phase of his radicalism.Even some other leftists over at RIF make attempts to bring him back to Earth in their comments.Segal is the poster child for idealism run amok.The only positive thing I could say about him is that he probably doesn’t take bribes and questionable favors like many of his colleagues.
I understand he was a math major.He should probably be teaching calculus or something instead of trying to remake the world from the viewpoint of someone with what seems to be little practical experience.

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