A proposed bill by the Democrat-controlled legislature in Virginia is the latest attempt to bypass a key purpose of the Electoral College which was created by America's Founding Fathers to give all Americans a voice in presidential elections.
The proposed measure known as SB 399 called the "National Popular Vote Compact," (NPVIC) would place the Commonwealth in an agreement with several other states that would change how electoral votes are awarded to a candidate in a presidential election.
Instead of giving the electoral votes to the candidate who won the popular vote in Virginia, the state would give its votes to the candidate who received the most popular votes across the nation.
There's been an effort nationwide, led mainly by members of the Democrat Party, to bypass or abolish the original intent of the Electoral College. The effort has escalated since the 2016 election in which Hillary Clinton won the popular vote while Donald Trump won in enough states to win the Electoral College and the presidency.
READ: Why There Would Be No America without the Electoral College
In all, five presidents in American history have won office while losing the popular vote, including two of the last three: Trump and George W. Bush, according to The New York Times.
The current system requires a presidential candidate to win the states, not just individual voters. That ensures less-populated states still have a voice.
Experts say the Founders created the Electoral College to make sure smaller states had a say in picking the person who would be their national leader. "If you go back to the Framers, they wanted an Electoral College because they wanted to create a balance between the heavily-populated and less-populated areas of the country," The Heritage Foundation's elections expert Hans von Spakovsky told CBN News.
"And they were afraid that if a president was elected by a national popular vote, the candidates would only go to the big cities," he continued. "They would ignore the rural areas - you know, the places that folks in New York call 'flyover country'."
As CBN News reported last March, even some of the Democrat candidates for president have called for the Electoral College to be abolished.
"We can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said.
So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed NPVIC legislation.
Colorado was one of those states that passed the measure. Jerry Sonnenberg, a Colorado Republican state senator, told The Times he opposed the bill because he believed the change would weaken the electoral power of sparsely populated rural states like Wyoming and Utah while strengthening states like California and New York.
In his view, the Electoral College was created so that "people in rural areas did not get overrun by the masses."
"I think it's completely appropriate that we keep the Electoral College," he said.
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