Most Random Constitutional Amendment Ever?
Congressman Steve Israel has proposed an amendment to the Constitution to award 29 bonus electoral votes to the popular vote winner.
The Hill (“Dem’s amendment would give 29 more electoral votes to popular-vote winner“):
The head of the House Democratic campaign arm this week proposed a constitutional amendment that would give the winner of the popular vote in the presidential race an additional 29 electoral votes.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) did not offer an explanation in the joint resolution filed in the House for why he was proposing to change the way elections in the U.S. are decided.
Here’s the text of the measure:
“In an election for President and Vice President, after the popular vote has been counted and electors have been appointed in each of the several States and the District constituting the seat of Government of the United States, each State and the District shall report the total number of popular votes cast for each of the candidates … The candidate receiving the largest percentage of the total popular vote as reported by the several States and the District shall receive 29 electoral votes in addition to those cast by the Electors chosen by the several States and the District. These votes shall not be considered votes cast by Electors and shall not affect the total number of votes necessary to constitute a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed.”
If we’re going to go through all the trouble of passing a Constitutional amendment to make it harder to win the presidency without getting a majority of the popular vote, why not just abolish the Electoral College altogether? And why the odd number of 29 votes? It happens to be the same number the winner of New York and Florida get. That’s a pretty generous award, yet it’s not in any way tied to the margin of victory.