The following is the text of the letter I sent to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in response to their call for letters on each side of a plan to neuter the Electoral College (reprinted here in case my submission doesn’t make the paper or it is edited; I did send it rather late in the week):
The plan outlined by the group National Popular Vote that seeks to assure the winner of the national popular vote for President victory in the Electoral College vote is intriguing. However, it is deficient in three separate ways, one of which is legally-fatal.
The first deficiency is its most-serious one. By relying on a compact between a number of states, this plan is blatantly un-Constitutional. Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution reads, "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,… enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State"¦."
Second, it would strip from the campaign any sense of need of a candidate to reach beyond his or her party’s base toward the "undecided" voter. The current state-by-state system, while it does effectively disenfranchise those living in states dominated by one political party, does also force both major-party candidates to battle head-to-head in several hotly-contested "battleground" states, with the attendant moderating effects on both candidates.
Finally, this plan would have the effect of spreading the new phenomenon of post-election challenges nationwide. Imagine the chaos of Florida in 2000 spread out across a dozen states, with each party hunting for the post-election “vote” that would put its candidate over the top.
The 200-word limit is rather stifling when multiple points need to be made.