Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Could the Voting Rights Act Kill the National Popular Vote Plan?

I have never been a fan of the National Popular Vote Plan, where states agree to pledge their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote--no matter what their state electorate may have votes. California and Maryland have implemented the plan and if a group of states comprising a majority of the electoral votes implement the plan it will take effect. One perverse result might be that a state like Maryland, which generally votes Democratic could have their state results ignored if a Repubican wins the national popular vote. Put in real context, lets say Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama wins Maryland by 15 percentage points. but John McCain wins the national vote by one percentage point, under the National Popular Vote Plan, Maryland would cede all of its electoral votes to John McCain. Thus, the will of the people of Maryland would have been subverted by everyone else in the country.

Well, David Gringer, in a student note for the Columbia Law Review argues that Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act may present a problem for the National Popular Vote plan. It is a pretty good article.

Hat Tip: Prof. Hasen.

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