Ute Haker will speak at Voices of Los Alamos meeting Sept. 24. Courtesy photo
Writer and historian Ute Haker, PhD, will provide an introduction to the National Popular Vote at the “Voices of Los Alamos” group’s monthly meeting 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos.
The problem with the U.S. presidential elections is not the Electoral College as such but the state-based “winner-take-all” method of counting the popular votes to begin with.
The difference between the winner-take-all system awarding all of the participating states’ electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state, and the National Popular Vote doing so for the popular votes from across the entire country, may seem minor, but in reality this difference has caused stunningly large voting inequalities and other pronounced disadvantages for the past 138-plus years.
So far, the National Popular Vote bill has been enacted into state law in 12 jurisdictions for a total of 172 electoral votes: California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State.
The bill will become effective at the national level once it reaches an Electoral College majority of at least 270 electoral votes.
The National Popular Vote bill came close to passing in New Mexico in 2017 when it was approved by the New Mexico Senate on President’s Day but died in a tie during the last committee hearing before reaching the full House floor.
Haker founded the Santa Fe-based “New Mexico Indivisibles for the National Popular Vote” group in early 2017 and also is a steering committee member of the “National Popular Vote Coalition of New Mexico.” In addition, Haker is active in the League of Women Voters, which recently made the National Popular Vote a national priority, and she is the chair of the Santa Fe County Democratic Party’s “Campaign Finance Reform, Elections, and Ethics Subcommittee,” which includes a focus on the National Popular Vote as well.