Welcome to the first NPV Update of 2019! We are looking forward to a robust year, and as always, please let us know if you have any questions — or if you have any items you’d like us to include in our next update about what you’re doing!
On January 23, 2019, the Colorado State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee held a public hearing on the National Popular Vote bill and voted 3-2 to approve the bill. A total of 72 people signed up to testify. See below.
On January 25, 2019, the New Mexico Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the National Popular Vote bill and voted to approve the bill. The bill now goes to the House floor. See below.
NPV Workshop in Orlando Draws 60 Members — and Lively Debate
More than 60 League members attended the January 18 NPV Workshop in Orlando, which was held immediately prior to the LWVFL “League Rising” conference. The primary purpose of the workshop was to discuss the National Popular Vote and answer attendees’ questions. Additionally, we wanted to introduce those interested in NPV to one another as part of our goal of developing a Florida community committed to educating key audiences about NPV and its benefits to Florida voters.
Beginning with a light lunch at roundtables, attendees shared their interest in NPV. Some had long been frustrated with the electoral system, believing that electing the President by popular vote would make much more sense. Others felt that the fact that small states have more impact on the Presidential election than Florida does — with its 20 million+ people — made no sense. Many felt that the outcome of many presidential elections would have been more representative of the national will if the President were elected by popular vote.
Kathleen Crampton then walked through the new NPV presentation, answering questions along the way. Some attendees asked whether NPV would require a change to the Constitution, which they felt could never be accomplished, especially in today’s contentious political climate. It is always a pleasant surprise for people to find out that no changes to the Constitution are required to implement NPV. Quite a few people were surprised that 11 states plus DC had already passed popular vote legislation with only another 98 electoral votes required to activate NPV. Another issue was exactly how the NPV process would work after Presidential elections were held: e.g., would voters still vote for electors as we do now (Yes!).
Kathleen Crampton addressing workshop attendees.
Workshop attendees were engaged listeners…
Under the direction of Cynthia Archbold, NPV Chair for Palm Beach and member of the NPV FL Communications Committee, the group took a short quiz that prompted many questions. For example, not everyone realized that all 50 states would not have to pass NPV — only enough states with electoral votes totaling 270. The other states could continue to direct their electors in any way they saw fit, including for the candidate who won their state’s vote (“winner take all”). Few realized that the Constitution would not have to be changed, nor that Congress would have to pass any legislation to implement NPV (in fact, Congress can’t, as states have sole authority for Presidential elections, as specified in the Constitution). Only a small number knew that “winner take all” was not in the Constitution and that this method had been had been passed by almost all states in the 1800s.
NPVFL core team members in attendance included Cynthia Archbold; Marcia Herman, NPVFL Manager of Network Development; Deb Mazzaferro, St Petersburg NPV co-chair and a member of the LWVUS NPV Committee; Kim Lansing, NPVFL IT Issues and Social Media; and Anna Moldonado, NPVFL intern.
Handouts — including copies of the NPV map, fact sheet, FAQs, core message, signs and leave-behinds (all available at https://www.lwvfl.org/issue/npv/) — were well received. That, plus attendees’ high energy, enthusiasm, and interest in NPV, tell us this was an engaging and successful event. We are grateful to each person for their attendance, willingness to ask questions, and commitment to NPV.
….and attendees asked plenty of questions.
NPV On the Move Nationally as Additional States Proceed with NPV Bills
In previous years, Colorado and New Mexico passed NPV legislation in both Houses but not in the same year. Below are some quick updates on what is happening in each state.
Colorado: Senator Mike Foote is the sponsor of the National Popular Vote bill (SB19-042) which was voted out of the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee in this session. Former Colorado State Representative Joe Miklosi and Senator Rachel Zenzinger are also supporters of NPV. For more information about NPV in Colorado, contact Sylvia Bernstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico: An NPV Bill (HB55) was filed in New Mexico and was heard and approved by their Judiciary Committee on January 25th. It now goes for vote to the House Floor.
Virginia: Democratic Delegate Mark Levine is introducing a bill to end the Electoral College. He believes that presidents should be decided by the popular vote. Because this is an election year for delegates, it is unlikely that it will be passed this year.
Upcoming LWV Orange County Hot Topics to Feature NPV
LWV Orange County has invited Dr. Amar Vikram to speak at LWVOR “Hot Topics”, Wednesday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. at the Sorosis Club in Orlando. Dr. Amar is the Dean of the Law School at the University of Illinois and an expert on the National Popular Vote. If you are interested in attending, sign up after February 13th on the League’s website: https://www.lwvoc.org/. The event costs $25 for members and $35 for non-members and is expected to sell out early.
Mark Your Calendars…
LWVFL Summit, April 9 – 10, 2019, Tallahassee.
While education of both LWV members and the general public is our major focus this year, the April LWV Legislative Summit will provide a great opportunity to learn how to educate legislators. Everyone interested in learning more about how to communicate with Florida’s policymakers should attend this important educational opportunity.
LWVFL Bi-Annual Convention, June 7 – 8, 2019, Naples. NPV will hold a Caucus at the LWVFL Bi-Annual Convention. In addition to educating LWV members about the benefits of NPV, our major objective will be to get the delegates to vote to make NPV a legislative priority for 2020. We encourage as many members as possible to attend the Convention and the NPV Caucus.