Let’s go back to Martin O’Malley for a minute.
Yes, he dropped out of contention for the Democratic nomination for president. (Amazingly, his campaign technically ended before Jim Webb’s, although no one remembered Webb was still around.)
But back in 2007, a few months into his first term as Maryland’s governor, he signed legislation making Maryland the first state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
It’s a compact that would make the Electoral College irrelevant, as it should be. States agreeing to it would award electoral votes not to the winner in that state, but to the winner of the popular vote.
Ironically, it wouldn’t go into effect until states having a majority of electoral votes agreed to it. Until that point, there’s no guarantee the change would work as intended.
But once states with enough votes agreed, they could ensure the winner of the national popular vote won the electoral vote.
The ideal route would be to get rid of the Electoral College entirely, but this is an easier way to achieve the same goal.
Everyone’s vote for president would actually count.
When I lived in Ohio, my vote was fiercely campaigned for during the one presidential election I was old enough to vote in. We were bombarded with advertising, and if anyone wanted to go see a candidate it wasn’t hard to find a convenient campaign stop.
That’s not likely to happen in Indiana, where a Democrat — Barack Obama, in 2008 — has won just once in the past 50 years. A Republican doesn’t need to convince the state, and a Democrat probably won’t try.
Which makes all the effort on both sides to meet citizens and connect with voters feel very empty.
It’s great if a politician can do that in a genuine way, but it’s still a shame they focus the effort on the voters in certain states.
My concerns, my views and my vote shouldn’t matter more or less depending on what state I live in.
And in terms of electing the president of the whole country, states are entirely arbitrary lines.
A vote should make the same difference no matter where it’s cast.
We wouldn’t elect a governor through a system in which winning a certain formula of counties could allow the candidate with fewer popular votes to take office.
Why do we allow it for presidents?
Ten states and the District of Columbia — 165 electoral votes out of the necessary 270 — are on board to make every vote matter equally.
We all should be.