From The Seattle Times — Originally published Monday, May 4

On Tuesday [Washington state] Gov. Chris Gregoire [D] signed into law a bill that aims to change the way Americans elect the president and vice-president of the United States. This was a big thing done with little public notice, and is disturbing in its implications.

[State] Senate Bill 5599 … is part of a plan to do an appendectomy on the Electoral College, the institution under which the states choose the president and vice president.

… The bill signed by Gregoire would … hav[e] the states game the system. Once activated, all the states in the agreement will cast their electoral votes for the candidate with the highest popular vote (not necessarily a majority) nationwide. If that agreement had been in effect in 2004, Washington would have had to cast its 11 electoral votes for George W. Bush, even though John Kerry won 53 percent of the popular vote here.

Washington’s promise to cast its electoral votes that way is not binding until states with a majority of electoral votes pass the same law. So far only five — Washington, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey — have done so. That means there is time for other states to consider this proposal more deeply than we have — and for people here to make up that lack by signing a petition for referendum so that the question can be referred to the people.

It is, after all, their business.

Tags Christine Gregoire Dino Rossi Electoral College John Kerry Person Career Politics State governments of the United States Vice President of the United States Washington

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