The Electoral College has been a staple of American presidential elections since the nation’s founding, but it may not be for long: a new legislative effort has been gaining momentum in state legislatures and could soon fundamentally change presidential elections as we know them. A California-based group, National Popular Vote, hopes to convince a critical mass of state legislatures to sign an interstate compact that will dictate a new method of allocating presidential electors: rather than states allocating electors as they do now, NPV wants states to give their electors to the winner of the national popular vote. The compact has been approved in five states (61 electoral votes) and is currently being considered in three other states (46 electoral votes). Three additional state legislatures approved the compact but did not receive gubernatorial approval (62 electoral votes). The compact goes into effect when states holding 270 electoral votes have signed the agreement. At this critical moment in the progress of NPV’s legislation, Tara Ross and John R. Koza will debate the benefits and detriments of both NPV and the Electoral College. Should the Electoral College be retained? If not, is NPV’s solution a good one, or might there be unintended logistical ramifications? Should Electoral College opponents instead go through the formal constitutional amendment process?
Featuring Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute; Spencer Ackerman, Senior Writer, WIRED Magazine; and Julian Sanchez, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
Featured PublicationWe are grateful to the Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation and the Carthage Foundation whose support of the October 2012 Cato Conference “Europe’s Crisis and the Welfare State: Lessons for the United States” made possible this special issue of the Cato Journal.
May 22, 2013
May 22, 2013
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The Cato Institute tops a new measure of think tank performance in the United States, according to a recent report. Cato bested all other U.S. think tanks in the main category of “Aggregate Profile per Dollar Spent.” “I’m grateful to the Center for Global Development for showing that Cato gives its sponsors something I wish government gave more of to taxpayers: bang for the buck,” said Cato CEO John Allison.