March Membership Meeting Report

LWVPBC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

By Ellen Norman

The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County held a General Membership Meeting on March 1, 2017.  The almost 70 attendees heard an informative presentation on the Electoral College.

 Karen Wilkerson, President, welcomed everyone and urged anyone present who was not already a member to join the League and become an active member.

    She introduced Nancy Cohen who spoke about the Electoral College.  Nancy informed the audience that the Presidential candidate who won the popular vote in 2 of the last 5 elections did not become president. She further explained that our electoral vote in Florida is worth 1/3 that of a less populated state. Because of this, in 1970 the LWVUS took a position in opposition to the Electoral College.

    However, as passing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College would be almost impossible, the League has supported the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). Under the compact agreement, each state’s electors will vote for the national popular vote victor. Nancy explained NPVIC would guarantee one person/ one vote, which makes all states competitive and every vote equal.

Ten states and the District of Columbia have signed on to this plan.

Dr. Ethelene (Lennie) Jones then gave some history on how the Electoral College came to be, how it works now, and how it creates elections where the winner of the nationwide popular vote is not elected president.

She went on to explain some key points:

  • The U.S. Constitution gives each state the right to determine how its electors cast their votes.
  • 48 states and the District of Columbia use a winner take all system.
  • Under winner-take-all laws, a slim majority of voters can effectively control governance and leave everyone else without representation.
  • The League of Women Voters believes the Electoral College is inequitable and undemocratic: it is inconsistent with the one-person one-vote bedrock principle of our democracy.

Lennie urged everyone to actively lobby Florida’s senators  and representatives in D.C., the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission, and our Florida state senators and assemblymen to endorse the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in order to get equity in our election process

Karen Wilkerson closed the meeting, again urging members of the audience to join our League and inviting them to attend.

She also urged people 18 to 45 years old to join the Young Leaguers and attend their meeting on April 24.

At the close of the meeting, the audience made signs protesting the inequities of the Electoral College and advocating for NPVIC and staged a protest.  See us on Facebook.com/lwvpbc.

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