Maine Democrats push through bill to end Electoral College presidential election method

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By CHRISTIAN WADE | THE CENTER SQUARE

Maine lawmakers are moving toward joining a Democratic-led multi-state compact that calls for scrapping the Electoral College system to elect presidents.

The state Legislature narrowly approved a proposal to ratify the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact this week, assigning the state’s Electoral College votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote instead of the winner in its two congressional districts. 

If Gov. Janet Mills approves the legislation, Maine would join 16 other states that have ratified the compact, representing 205 Electoral Votes. The pact needs at least 270 Electoral College votes to be activated. 

Democrats who pushed the bill through the House and Senate argued that switching to a popular vote system would make Maine and other smaller states more relevant in presidential elections. 

“The way states award electoral votes today is creating problems for our nation,” state Rep. Arthur Bell, D-Yarmouth, said in recent testimony supporting the bill. “The current system has elected the second-place candidate twice in our lifetimes and five times in the country’s history. Five out of 46 presidents is a pretty bad error rate. Elevating the 2nd place candidate erodes trust in our democratic system.” 

Most Republican lawmakers voted against joining the compact, arguing that it would circumvent the U.S. Constitution and diminish the state’s influence in presidential elections.

In a statement, House Republicans blasted the measure’s approval, saying it shows that Democrats “do not care about everyday Mainers, their rights, their opinions, or their protections under the U.S. Constitution.” 

In a statement, House Republicans blasted the measure’s approval, saying it shows that Democrats “do not care about everyday Mainers, their rights, their opinions, or their protections under the U.S. Constitution.” 

The move to upend the Electoral College comes ahead of a contentious presidential election that could be decided in a handful of states — including Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania — where Trump currently leads Biden in the polls. 

Maine divides its four Electoral College votes between its two congressional districts, often splitting the vote in presidential elections. In 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump peeled away the largely rural 2nd Congressional District from Democrat Hillary Clinton, winning one electoral vote, while Clinton won the statewide race and the 1st District, giving her the state’s other three electoral votes.

Trump carried the 2nd District handily in the 2020 elections, cinching one the state’s four electoral votes. The other three votes went to Democrat Joe Biden, who went on to win the presidency.

Mills, a Democrat, has 10 days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without her signature.

Maine Democrats also pushed through ranked-choice voting before Alaska adopted the new voting scheme that Democrats favor.

46 COMMENTS

  1. The left really hates the idea of free elections which represent all sections of the country.
    The only thing they hate more is the Constitution.

    It’s embarrassing to banana republics the way they behave.

  2. And so New York, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles will elect future presidents, so candidates need only campaign there. Those represent the progressive paradises where I certainly would not want to live. We are a Republic. Democracy is where ten foxes vote whether to eat nine chickens. Democracy is where five men vote to rape one woman, but it’s ok because they vote.
    Democracy is tyranny of the majority. And with democrats manipulating the voting, we become North Korea where the majority of ballots rule (Anchorage?).

  3. It would be more intellectually honest if democrats declared themselves rulers forever.

      • If you’re not even gonna try, don’t bother. Adults are talking, child.

        Also curious there is no attempt at rebuttal.

        • If adults are talking…then why are you tooting your horn?

          Maybe you ought to just sit down for a bit, let the more intellectually gifted and honest talk for a bit. But thank you for playing!

          • Since you want the intellectually gifted to talk, I appreciate the recognition but have other things to do today.

            Go home son. You’re out of your depth here.

            • Uh huh, out of my depth. There’d have to be a little depth around here to begin with. You’re not exactly bringing Mensa level discourse to this website. More on the level of “I know you are but what am I” type of discourse. But, again, it is entertaining.

  4. The President is elected by the States, not the population at large. There is a reason for this, but because a democrat got more of the popular vote (likely due to millions of folks voting illegally, California, I am looking your way…) they are all butthurt.
    .
    When you cannot win, try to change the rules. That is what children and leftists (sorry to repeat myself) do.

    • The irony is, every time the left changes rules to suit them, it always blows up in their faces later.
      Always. Yet they never learn.

      • I believe that the left can watch the movie Titanic and expect a different ending each and every time. As my good friend would say, ” That’s a head shaker”.

      • Well, they are children, and assessing the long term impacts, especially the negative impacts, of their decisions is not their strong point.

  5. Joe Biden is going around the Supreme Court decision on canceling student debt and voiding their decision. If Trump did this, everyone in the Media and the democrat party would howl forever. Any democrat Congress would impeach him.

    Now, Maine is making their own people meaningless and where is the media to explain this idiotic decision. Any small state that agrees to this will lose all it’s power. If it is true democracy people want, just ban the States and have one country with one vote.

    So sad normal everyday people are following this. They just read in the papers that this is good without questioning. Normal everyday people are just living, not watching out for the future.

  6. Eliminating the electoral college has been a pet project of Hillary Clinton so we know it is not good for our country and is only a ploy for democrats to dominate our elections.

  7. If Biden had won the electoral college but not the popular vote, y’all would be saying exactly the opposite.

    • No, Paola, you are wrong, and simply projecting your own typical radical leftist hypocrisy and “win at ANY cost” mentality onto others.

      It never ceases to astound me how you radical leftist extremists can be so blind and to your own glaring hypocrisy, double standards and cognitive dissonance. The doublethink that you vermin routinely display would amaze even George Orwell.

    • I cannot speak for anyone else, but I would not be saying anything of the sort.
      I have actually read the US Constitution, and I understand why it was written the way it was.
      .
      The highest law in the land describes the process for electing the President, and whether I agree with it 100% of the time or not, it is the law, and the reasons for it existing are valid.

  8. If we lose the Electoral College, we loose the Constitutional Republic. We usher in the banana republic.

  9. Democrats so desperate to win they’ll do anything but this is something that could bring about serious ramifications for this country. Riots and possibly something even worse will be the result should this come to fruition.

  10. Golda Meir, an Israeli fourth prime minister from 1969 to 1974, observed: “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

    • She also said the violence would end when the Arabs learn to live their children more than they hate us.

  11. Maine sure has a problem following the constitution. They like Colorado think they can just ignore it and end up with a scolding from the Supreme Court. This is a waste of the courts time and the tax payers funds.

  12. How can any of “switching to a popular vote system would make Maine and other smaller states more relevant in presidential elections” be remotely correct? This is typical Democrat talking where they present the exact opposite of what’s true to be settled fact.

    • Exactly.
      I cannot remember exactly what the number are, but based on population, the metro areas of NYC, LA, Chicago, San Fran, and one or two other major blue cities have enough votes to elect the President every time.
      .
      That is what switching to a popular vote for President will do, and that is why the Founders of this nation made it clear the individual States elect the President, not the population as a whole.

  13. Their votes would be diluted by those areas of high population density.

    Sad that they don’t understand that the electoral college was designed to prevent high density populated areas from controlling the election. Candidates would only have to focus on States like California, Texas, New York, & Florida.

  14. States should have an electoral college. That way the huge metro areas won’t decide policy for the entire state. Western states really suffer from this.

  15. “Democrats who pushed the bill through the House and Senate argued that switching to a popular vote system would make Maine and other smaller states more relevant in presidential elections.” Just the opposite in fact. Maine’s population comes up to just shy of 1.4 million. If this goes through, their electoral votes will be allocated based on the majority opinion in NYC, LA, Chicago, and a few other cities. Those urban areas will determine the votes of a much more rural Maine. In reality, the founders adopted the electoral college system as well as two senators per state because a number of smaller autonomous states didn’t want the big states like Virginia to dominate them in a new larger nation where they held a lion’s share of the population. Under the current proposal, Maine would be competing as the 42nd or 43rd largest “city” with the Raleigh and Memphis metro areas. Maybe they should just rejoin Massachusetts. They could let Boston decide their votes for them, turn in their two senators (especially Collins!), and further dilute their influence. That being said, they do have the right to allocate their electoral votes however they see fit. At least they are taking the proper route through the legislature rather than trying to get a single judge to force it through. Nonetheless, this idea is bad for Maine and bad for the Divided States.

  16. Currently Maine holds 0.74% of Electoral College Votes and 0.4% of the population. By approving this scheme the Maine Democrats have effectively halved their influence over Presidental Elections. It would be interesting to find out how Maine Democrats can explain just how enacting a bill that effectively cuts in half the amount of influence they currently hold “would make Maine and other smaller states more relevant in presidential elections.”

    Also, as has been pointed out we are not a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic.

    • It’s the long game. Democrats represent the party, like the old USSR communists did. The goal is to get the party in power, then take apparatchik roles.

      The give less than a damn about Maine.

  17. The irony is, the individual Mainer has more voting power under the EC than straight popular vote. More than the individual Californian.

    While I understand the sentiment, it would significantly under represent rural states.

  18. Democrats hate Democracy. All they want to do is concentrate power from the cities…….where all the liberal communists live. The electoral college allows voices from all sections of every state…….equally. Rats live in the DemocRAT party, like rats live in big cities.

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