Assembly Bill 186 will be voted on by the Nevada State Senate 4 p.m. Wednesday in Room 2144. This is the bill that was passed in the Assembly, that would do away with the Electoral College in Nevada and instead the presidency would be decided by popular vote.
Background on the Electoral College: A state’s number of electors equals the number of representatives plus two electors for both senators the state has in the United States Congress. The number of representatives is based on the respective populations, determined every 10 years by the United States Census. This is why having the question, “Are you a United States citizen?” on the census form is important and being debated. The decision will have to be decided in the Supreme Court as Democrats think it discriminatory and will result in lower census counts. Republicans believe having that question on the form will result in a more accurate count of actual citizens, which is important, as population count decides how many persons in Congress are apportioned to a state.
As of this date, 36 Legislative Chambers in 23 States have now passed the National Popular Vote Bill. This will take effect when enacted into law by states possessing 270 electoral votes (a majority of the 538 electoral votes). Nevada’s State Senate will be voting on its own National Popular Vote Bill Wednesday; it has already passed in the Assembly.
There have been times in history when a presidential candidate has won the Electoral College, but not the popular vote, and thus been elected. This happened to Donald Trump in 2016, as well as John Quincy Adams, Hayes, Harrison, and George W. Bush. The Electoral College was put in place by our founding fathers so states with large populations wouldn’t dominate states that are smaller. If the popular vote had been the deciding factor in 2016, Hillary Clinton would’ve essentially been elected by the populations of the east and west coast states, and the “fly over” states of the country would’ve been disenfranchised due to the smaller numbers of population. If the Popular Vote Bill succeeds, then presidential candidates will only need to campaign in the states mentioned. Midwest states’ votes would have zero effect in electing a candidate.
An easier way to understand this exists in our own state of Nevada. Currently, Clark and Washoe counties decide ALL statewide elections. In the past few years, we’ve had a huge influx of Californians into the state, who mostly vote Democrat, and they settled predominantly in these two counties. So, the other 15 counties in Nevada, which are mostly Republican, actually have no say at all in state elections, due to their smaller populations. This is EXACTLY the situation with our national elections, except the less-popular states are able to hold their own due to the number of Electors they’re given in the Electoral College. In fact, I’m not only AGAINST the abolishment of the Electoral College, I’m FOR Electoral Colleges within STATES in order to eliminate imbalances of populations between counties, such as we have in Nevada.
Something to think about; If this Popular Vote Bill passes and becomes law, then in the future, a president could be elected by a MINORITY of states. The only time this happened in the past was when Lincoln was elected, and then we had a civil war.
Juanita Cox is Nevada Republican Assembly president.