A handful of “swing” states dominate national attention during presidential campaigns. Why? Because “swing” states are closely divided politically, so that a shift in a small number of votes for one candidate or another can swing 100 percent of the state’s electoral votes to a candidate. This means that the concerns of the “swing” state voters are addressed by presidential candidates to the exclusion of voters in other states.
This unfair situation is due to the “winner-take-all” provision in Electoral College laws of almost every state. The result is that 75 percent of the states are virtually ignored by both parties during a presidential campaign, including New Mexico. It also means that New Mexican votes are not on equal footing with other national votes.
The National Popular Vote makes every vote in every state equal, so that presidential candidates will have to campaign in all 50 states, including New Mexico, not just the few “swing” states. And it means that every vote counts equally, even if coming from a smaller Electoral College vote state such as New Mexico.
Working within the U.S. Constitution and the Electoral College, under the National Popular Vote, states simply commit to awarding their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote across all 50 states, thereby guaranteeing that the winner of the popular vote will win the presidency. The National Popular Vote takes effect when enough states joining add up to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to elect a president.
Already 11 states and the District of Columbia have passed the National Popular Vote for a total of 172 Electoral College votes. It comes before the New Mexico Legislature in 2019. We can make a difference by adding our five. The National Popular Vote is consistent with the U.S. Constitution, keeps the Electoral College intact and preserves state’s rights.
It’s time New Mexico is recognized as an equal voting state. Our legislators need to join the National Popular Vote! Visit nationalpopularvotenm.org.