Daily Catch

Legislative committee narrowly rejects National Popular Vote, but fight is not over

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Our founders established a system of checks and balances designed to protect everyone, especially minorities, from the tyranny of the majority. It is a result of comprise that brings people together for the good of the whole.

The Legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, of which I am a member, recently held a public hearing on two bills designed to subvert the Electoral College in electing the President of the United States. 

Rather than amend the Constitution, which requires overwhelming agreement, supporters of this approach are seeking to get around the Constitution by committing Maine into entering an interstate compact with other willing states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote across 50 states. This would be done at the expense of other states not in the compact and the current Constitutional system that utilizes the Electoral College.

Wisely, the committee in a bipartisan manner, voted to move the measure Ought-Not-to-Pass.  That recommendation now goes to the full legislature.

There is much at stake. Vigilance is needed to protect our liberty.

If this scheme succeeds, I have no doubt that it will result in a Constitutional Crisis that requires a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.

We are Mainers not New Yorkers or Californians.  We drink moxie and eat whoopie pies and while we share many values with citizens in other states we have a culture and an identity all our own.  It is why we are proudly Mainers.

The current system favors Maine and the influence of our citizens to impact the selection of a President. To abandon this system is to cede Maine’s voice to New York and California.  In 2016, Maine had an unprecedented three visits from a presidential candidate and many visits from both candidates’ top surrogates. To have Maine just agree with the popular vote regardless of how the people of Maine vote would subjugate us to the will of Texans, New Yorkers, Californians, and Floridians.  It would mean that while Mainers wanted John Kerry for President in 2004, Maine would have voted for George W. Bush, the winner of the popular vote.

Our founders divided government to protect the diverse perspectives of individuals and the different ideas of different states.  That diversity is valuable to us as a whole by providing divergent viewpoints and ensures that in a country of over 300 million people, we are able to provide opportunities for people to live in communities that best suit them. 

As a member of the Veterans and Legal Affairs committee, I applaud the Democrats who joined all Republican members to do the right thing by voting to protect Maine’s independence and sovereignty. We will work in a bipartisan effort to ensure Maine has a loud voice on the national stage.  Virginia is for lovers, Texas doesn’t want to be messed with and in New Hampshire they live free or die.  I want to keep Maine the way life should be and not lose ourselves to states that maybe don’t share the same outlook that we have here in Maine.

Passage of this anti-constitutional scheme is likely unless citizens like you contact your elected representatives. You have the power to influence this vote.

I encourage all of you to reach out to your representatives and senators to support our voice and way of doing things.

About John Andrews

Representative John Andrews represents House District 73, which includes the towns of Paris, Buckfield and Hebron.

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