Democrats, apparently still raging over Clinton’s stunning loss to the Untethered Orange Id, narrowly missed on adding Nevada to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (the Democratic governor vetoed it), an initiative wherein states commit their electors in presidential elections to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than the winner of the popular vote within their borders. Nevada would have been the 15th state to join this compact, which only “triggers” if and when the compact’s participating states’ electoral votes reach 270. The total currently stands at 191.

This compact, while not technically partisan, has only been adopted in blue states so far. While advocates don’t think it’ll reach the 270 threshold in time for the next election, it might.

Just about a year ago, I discussed how this NPV compact would harm smaller states, by making them less relevant in the national election, and therefore drawing less attention from the candidates. I also pondered how such states might react if a Republican candidate won the NPV, and by virtue of the compact, was awarded the electoral votes of states that voted for the Democrat. There’d be quite the gnashing of teeth, especially since such an outcome would produce a landslide electoral vote victory that the candidate could a – crow about and b – use to declare a mandate and get more aggressive in governance.

There’s another potential unintended consequence to this NPV compact, and I wonder if its advocates and political supporters (of the blue flavor) have pondered it.

If you are a Democrat in a deep-red state, or a Republican in a deep-blue state, your vote is so utterly meaningless that there’s really no reason for you to bother visiting a polling site on Presidential election day (barring some local stuff that’s important to you). But, if you now know that your vote becomes relevant in the apportionment of other states EVs, you might very well be incentivized to cast what used to be a quixotic vote.

If you are a Democrat in a deep-blue state, or a Republican in a deep-red state, and are feeling lazy on Election day, you might opt to stay home, secure in the knowledge that your states EV tally will go as you desire. But, if the NPV compact is in force, you might feel more incentivized to cast that vote, because it’ll affect other states’ EV allocations.

The parties would also be incentivized very differently. Get-out-the-vote efforts would not be as fixated on battleground states. Major bastions of minority-party voters will see such efforts vastly increase, and the dynamic of the election will be drastically different from all those that have preceded.

Beyond those above-board behavioral changes, there’ll be vastly more incentive towards voter fraud, especially in districts where oversight is lax because they are traditionally lopsided. And, since voter fraud in one state could have an effect on the EV allocations of other states, there’d be a justification for the Feds to intervene in election monitoring and management. How will it sit with deep-blue state voters if a Republican administration suddenly bird-dogged their elections?

Who would benefit more, if the NPV compact goes into effect? Hard to predict, but I feel safe in saying that it isn’t the guarantee of a Democratic Presidential victory that its proponents, I suspect, believe it to be.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


Like this post?