March 17, 2010

Another View: Columnist wrong to oppose a presidential popular vote

I am proud to sponsor the National Popular Vote bill and am concerned about M.D. Harmon's Jan. 29 column, "National popular vote bill a scheme to steal Maine's power."

He misses the mark. This is a bill to create a popular vote for president. The bill uses the flexibility the Founders gave state legislatures in the Constitution. They trusted us to make the best use of our electoral votes.

Right now the electoral college is not working. Maine, like 35 other states, is a foregone conclusion in the election so our citizens' votes are completely taken for granted. Consider that two-thirds of the money the candidates spent in the 2008 election went to just six states, the "battleground" states. It doesn't make sense.

A popular vote, however, would make every vote equal. I believe a vote in Maine should count as much as a vote in Florida. And, the candidate who earns the most votes should become president. That's what this bill guarantees, once enough states sign on.

This bill is about replacing the current state-by-state election of the president with a national popular vote. Maine would join other states in casting its electoral votes for the candidate who gets the most popular vote in all 50 states.

Inevitably, the national majority will, in some elections, differ from the Maine majority, which troubles Mr. Harmon.  You can't have it both ways. Either the states decide or the nation decides.

I side with the 77 percent of Mainers who believe the president should be elected by a one-person, one-vote system.

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