Voices | Dec. 31-Jan. 7

Reactions, rants and other random musings from you, our readers.

Mummers toon
Cartoon: Tom Stiglich

The Shout Out

Retired homicide prosecutor Carlos Vega recently announced plans to challenge DA Larry Krasner in the May Democratic Primary.

Your turn:

Should Krasner stay or go? Is Vega the right choice for the DA post?

Send your thoughts to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com

Image: S. Hermann & F. Richter

City’s COVID response too much for PW readers

Philadelphia Weekly recently posted a social media poll asking people to rate the city’s response to COVID-19.

The results:

55 percent: Tyrannical and overbearing

41 percent: Fair and responsible

4 percent: No longer paying attention

What do you think? Send your comments to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com.

Compact would ensure candidate with most votes wins  

It’s simple, really. Majority rules. Or it should.

But when it comes to electing a president, that’s not always what happens. In the U.S., the president isn’t really elected by the people. In this country, the president is elected by the Electoral College. One candidate can get millions more votes than the other candidate and still lose. The minority can rule.

We ought to change that. We ought to be a democracy.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would change that. The Compact is an agreement between states. States in the Compact agree to give all their electors to whichever candidate received the most votes, regardless of who wins in their state. But it doesn’t kick in until we have 270 electoral votes, until there are enough votes to ensure that the president really is elected by the majority.

This would not get rid of the Electoral College, but it would ensure that the Electoral College can never again overrule the will of the majority. It would mean that the vote in the Electoral College would be a function of the popular vote, and that it would be impossible to win the popular vote, but lose the vote in the Electoral College.

Currently, 15 states and Washington, D.C., are part of the Compact. That’s 196 electoral votes out of 538 Electoral College votes. Winning requires 270 votes. The Compact is 70 percent of the way there.

HB 2922 has been introduced in Harrisburg. This would allow Pennsylvania to join the Compact, thereby providing another 20 electoral votes to the 196 already in the Compact. It would be a significant addition.

Our founders envisioned a country where all citizens would be treated equally under the law; where every vote would count as one, and no vote would count as more than one. The only way to realize this deeply important moral commitment is to ensure the president really is democratically elected. We deserve a president chosen by the majority.

Electing a president by national popular vote would make presidential candidates, and presidential administrations, compete for every vote, in every state and in every type of locality. It would mean every candidate would attend to every citizen, in every state and in every locality. It would mean voters in the cities would be equal to voters in the suburbs and in the rural areas.

The way things now stand, the votes of Republicans in California, and Democrats in Texas simply don’t count. All of California’s electoral votes go to the Democratic candidate, and all of Texas’ electoral votes go to the Republican candidate.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would change that. It would mean that Democrats in Alabama count just as much as Democrats in Pennsylvania, and Republicans in Vermont count just as much as Republicans in Florida.

It would mean that the votes of folks who live in the country would count equally to voters who live in cities and suburbs. We are all Americans, we all deserve an equal voice.

The national popular vote is a constitutional way of making sure we all count equally. I ask all my fellow Pennsylvanians to urge its passage with all deliberate speed. Please call or write to your elected representatives in Harrisburg and ask them to pass the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Beth Goldstein-Huxen is an advocate for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

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