Ohio lawmakers betray voters

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A group of Ohio legislators have clearly expressed their disrespect and contempt for the citizens of our state with the introduction of a bill that would circumvent our wishes in presidential elections.

Under the federal Constitution, the nation’s president is selected by a process that allows the voters of each state to decide, by popular vote, which presidential candidate will receive that state’s electoral votes.

In February, a group of six state representatives introduced legislation through which the presidential choice expressed by Ohio’s voters would be disregarded. Instead of the candidate of Ohio’s choice receiving our electoral votes, our judgement would be ignored, and our electoral votes would be granted to the candidate who receives the most votes throughout the entire nation. In effect, people in the largest states, like California and New York, could be a larger determinant of Ohio’s electoral votes than the people of Ohio.

Yet it is the people of Ohio who our state legislators are elected and paid to represent.

This is betrayal.

HB70, sponsored by Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) and five co-sponsors – including those who represent Lakewood, Cleveland Heights and Euclid – would make Ohio a part of the misguided National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Lest you deem this alert a conspiracy theory, be aware that in March, Colorado and Delaware became the 12th and 13th states, along with the District of Columbia, to agree to the pact. Combined, that group already controls 184 of the 270 electoral votes needed to elect a president. The plan also was awaiting the governor’s signature in New Mexico and has passed one house in eight additional states.

The stated purpose of this movement is to prevent a candidate from winning the electoral vote – and the presidency – while losing the national popular vote. This has happened four times during our country’s 58 presidential elections, including 2016. Supporters say that it will ensure the “every vote, in every state, will matter.”

In reality, the plan will do precisely the opposite.

As it stands, every vote does matter. Every vote in every state counts toward each state’s decision on whom its electors should support. Under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact scheme, the states with the largest populations would dominate all others. Had this plan been in place in 2016, Hillary Clinton would now be in the White House even though voters in only 19 states – generally in the Northeast and on the West Coast – thought she was the best choice.

That isn’t “making every vote count.” It is saying that the vote of 31 states – 62 percent of the total – doesn’t count.

Under the Constitution, the legislatures of each individual state decide how their own electors are appointed. Therefore, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact doesn’t violate the Constitution. Clearly, however, it circumvents the will of a state’s voters. Basically, it’s a matter of the legislators whom you elected to represent you in Columbus telling you that your vote is irrelevant compared to the vote of the nation’s other 49 states and the District of Columbia.

It’s ironic that the Constitution, which acknowledges the rights of the people in individual states to cast their vote for the presidential candidate of their choice, also allows conniving professional politicians to give away that right.

If you oppose this arrogant and disrespectful legislation, be sure to let your state senator and representatives know.

Here are the Ohio “representatives” who think Ohioans are too stupid to properly vote for president and are co-sponsoring HB70:

David Leland, D-Columbus
Kristin Boggs, D-Columbus
Janine R. Boyd, D-Cleveland Heights
Catherine D. Ingram, D-Cincinnati
Mary Lightbody, D-Westerville
Michael Skindell, D-Lakewood
Kent Smith, D-Euclid

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