Well, so much for that.
The people trying to engineer a way to neuter the electoral college suffered a setback last week. Last month we talked about the state of Maine possibly joining the national popular vote movement after the state senate narrowly passed a measure approving the plan. But those hopes have now been quashed after the House rejected the measure. (WMTW News)
The Maine House of Representatives on Thursday rejected plan to allocate the state’s four electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote, instead of the candidate who wins the Electoral College.
The House vote against the popular vote proposal comes roughly two weeks after the Maine Senate narrowly approved the plan.
In the 2016 election, Maine split its electoral votes. Three went to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and one went to now-President Donald Trump. Maine is just one of two states to split its electoral votes, and 2016 marked the first time the split happened.
This will come as depressing news to supporters of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Without Maine’s three electoral votes, this leaves them stuck at 189 electoral votes. They’ve had their eyes set on nine additional states that have passed the measure in one legislative chamber. Getting all of them would have provided 82 more electoral votes, putting them over the victory line by a single vote. Sadly for them, Maine was one of those states, and at least for now it’s slipped from their grasp.
Of course, the rest of them aren’t slam dunks either. They’re looking at a few like Minnesota and Oregon where you could probably see the measure passing. But they also have Arkansas, Arizona and Oklahoma (!) on their list. Do you really see the voters in those states going for a plan that would effectively erase their presidential votes on a regulat basis? Color me skeptical.
Then, of course, there’s the question of whether or not this is even constitutional. The courts won’t be weighing in on this unless and until the measure actually goes into effect. At that time we may find out that all of this fuss and bother has been for nothing.