Another issue at legislative session that will go against what our Founding Fathers intended in the Constitution
HB 55 at the 2019 New Mexico Legislative session proposes to change the rules of choosing a president and vice president to allow the state electors to vote only for the candidate with the highest national total of votes.
In Article II of the U.S. Constitution, it states in Section 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Our Founding Fathers understood the potential tyranny of majority rule. They understood that cities and large population groups could be the ones who elected every president and vice president.
Less populous states like New Mexico or Wyoming would have no voice in choosing the president of the United States.
Therefore, the Constitution set forth that each state would have representation by electors equaling the number of senators and representatives each state sent to Congress. Because each state, no matter its population has at least one representative, and each state has only two senators, the numbers gave each state some representation and did not allow it to be based only on population.
Some may read the part "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors" as allowing the state to choose how its electors vote.
That's not the way I read it, but I'm not a constitutional lawyer. I just have some common sense. It says that the number of electors is equal to the whole number of senators and representatives that go to Congress from each state. And those electors should represent by their votes the will of the people from that state.
Do you want New York and California choosing how our electors should vote? I sure don't. I want our state's voice, as small as it is, heard, not repeating what states with large populations want.
If you wanted Hillary Clinton to win last time, then you will love this bill. If, however, you are happy that Trump won, it was the Electoral College votes that pulled him through.
He did not win the overall popular vote of the country, but he won more states than did Hillary. And each state with its electoral votes, depending on the choice by the voters in that state, gave the presidency to Trump.
Overall, Trump won more Counties in the U.S. than did Hillary. The preponderance of votes for Hillary were from the large cities in each state. Rural counties all over the country chose Trump.
As a member of a not very populous state, you should be happy that you still have a voice when you go to the polls to vote.
Perhaps New Mexico needs its own version of an electoral college, with each county having at least one representative beholden only to that county. Right now, each legislator, except for those in more populous areas, represent portions of multiple counties, which not only splits their time and reach, but their clout.
If each county had a representative, the counties with a smaller population would still have a vote.
It would prevent having bills shoved down voters' throats by the overwhelming preponderance of legislators representing large population centers – Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque—thereby proving the tyranny of the majority.
Let's hope voters wake up in 2020 and pay attention to what their representatives have voted for this year that will, in my opinion, take New Mexico back several steps economically.