The National Popular Vote idea . . . is not a national popular vote. It is, in fact, just a form of the Electoral College system in which state election laws have gone insane. On the NPV system, states would be committing themselves in the Electoral College to preferring votes elsewhere to those cast by their own citizens. If State A doesn’t allow felons to vote and State B does for civil rights reasons, then on the NPV plan, State A is committed to accepting as legitimate felons voting in in State B despite the fact that people in A exactly like those in B don’t get to vote, and State B is committed to accepting as legitimate the election numbers coming out of State A, despite knowing quite well that the numbers are derived in part on what people in State B regard as a civil rights violation, and that there are potential voters in A whose votes are not getting counted despite the fact that they would count in B. This is an absurd situation.
Moreover, NPV guarantees that states with well-thought-out election laws and well-run election systems are held hostage to those without. When, for instance, we had the problems with the Bush v. Gore election, the problems were all with the popular vote count of Florida. It only affected the Electoral College because Florida’s own method of determining Electors is tied to its own popular vote count. Numbers can’t be established for a ‘national popular vote’ (even one based on a fiction) under a state-by-state system like ours unless all the states have their act together. We know for a fact that this can’t be guaranteed, and that a state can make a complete mess of things by poor collection methods, inconsistent vote-counting, and loopholes for voting fraud. And we also know for a fact that nobody can actually fix these problems except citizens of that state.
The NPVIC proposal has already been adopted by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, and California. If Romney wins the popular vote today but loses the electoral college, you could see a great number of red states join that Democratic-leaning list.