By Ann Bley
In the 2016 election, many Americans were deeply disturbed that although Hilary Clinton had won the popular vote by 2.9 million, Donald Trump instead became President. In the US, it is the Electoral College which ultimately chooses who will be President in our elections. In 2016, the allocation of votes across the 50 states resulted in more states’ electoral votes being allocated for Trump. This is not the first time that this has happened. In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, but instead, George Bush was elected, again due to the vote allocation across the states favoring Bush instead of Gore. We can only imagine what a different country we would live in today if Al Gore, who was a strong believer in Climate Change, and Hilary Clinton, who would have been our first woman president, had instead been elected rather than George Bush and Donald Trump. It is ironic that both of these men are considered by historians to be among the worst presidents that the US has ever elected.
That Trump’s 2016 election was so egregious, many Americans have become active in trying to insure that we do not have another election like this one. Some have become involved in getting out the vote. Others have been working on making sure that redistricting is done fairly. Still, others have been involved in returning the vote to the disenfranchised who have been served time for felony convictions. Another effort has been what has come to be known as the National Popular Vote Campaign, which seeks to reform the Electoral College so that in the future, the candidate that the majority of Americans choose for president is the candidate that ultimately is chosen by the Electoral College to be the president.
It is 270 votes out of 538 Electoral votes which determine which candidate will be president. The National Vote Campaign has been working to insure that as many states as possible agree to allocate all of their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. As of March 18th, 11 states plus Washington DC have pledged their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote. The number right now is 181 pledged votes, with still another 89 votes needed to insure that future presidents are elected reflecting the will of the majority of the people voting. Among those potential 89 votes, are 6 electoral votes from the state of Nevada. Currently, approval of the National Popular Vote in our state is under consideration and if all goes well will be approved. BUT this is not guaranteed. This same legislation was being considered in the 2017 session of the legislature, but ultimately died in committee. With a trifecta government, now is the time for Nevada to step up and help make the National Popular Vote a reality for the Electoral College.
If you would like to help in this effort, please access the Nevada Legislation website (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/80th2019/), and let your legislators know that you are strongly in favor of AB186 which is the National Popular Vote bill number in this session. This bill was introduced in the legislature on February 26th, and on March 14th, was sent to the Assembly Floor. It must be voted on in both houses of the Legislature and signed by our governor, and then it will take effect.
You can find further information on the status of the National Popular Vote Campaign in our state and in other states where it is currently under consideration at https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/.
The goal is minimally 270 Electoral votes to be allocated via National Popular Vote before the 2020 election. It is achievable. Hopefully, the great state of Nevada will be part of making this happen.