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ACTION ALERT: National Popular Vote Referral Bill – OPPOSE!

ACTION ALERT: National Popular Vote Referral Bill – OPPOSE!

ACTION ALERT: National Popular Vote Referral Bill – OPPOSE!

Date: Feb. 2, 2018
To: All League Members
From: Norman Turrill, LWVOR President;
Marge Easley, LWVOR National Popular Vote Portfolio

A National Popular Vote Referral Bill (SB 1512) will have a hearing and work session in the Senate Rules Committee vote on Tuesday, February 6, 3:00 pm. League members are asked to contact their legislators as soon as possible and ask them to support the clean version of the National Popular Vote bill that has passed the Oregon House of Representatives four times in recent sessions and to oppose the referral version of the bill (SB 1512).

Although strongly supportive of the National Popular Vote concept, the League opposes SB 1512 for the following reasons:

  • The U.S Constitution specifically assigns to state legislatures the task of deciding how electors are appointed.  The eleven jurisdictions that have already joined the NPV Compact have done so legislatively, and the question of whether a referral on this issue would pass constitutional muster has not yet been decided. It is highly likely that a referral would invite a court challenge, and taxpayers would then have to foot the bill to defend it.
  • Passage of NPV legislation requires an in-depth understanding of the Electoral College—how it works, its historical beginnings, and its impact on presidential campaigns and voting patterns. Legislative hearings, not media campaigns, provide a much fairer and more appropriate way to evaluate such complex information.
  • If recent ballot measure campaigns are any guide, it would take millions of dollars to run an effective NPV ballot measure campaign. Good government organizations do not have resources to combat an infusion of money from vested interests intent on maintaining the status quo.
  • Political polarization is at an all-time high in this country. A National Popular Vote referral campaign could easily become a political battlefield that would only increase the level of polarization in Oregon.
  • A referral sends a negative signal about NPV to voters. It implies a lack of legislative support as well as a lack of political courage. If you, as representatives of the people, believe that the “winner take all” Electoral College system needs to be replaced and that every vote in every state should matter, then the right thing to do is pass a clean bill this session. The onus will then be on NPV opponents to use the referendum process to overturn it.

We appreciate your immediate action on this issue. You can find your legislators’ contact information here.

For more information, contact Marge Easley, NPV Portfolio Chair, marge.easley@frontier.com.

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