This week the Massachusetts Legislature
approved a new law that bypasses the Electoral College system used
by the states to elect a President. This new law would ensure that
the winner is determined by the national popular vote and that all
12 of our state's electoral votes will be awarded to the candidate
who receives the most votes nationally.
Our founding fathers established the Electoral College system
because our country was created as a Federal Republic. They wanted
to prevent that a President be elected by large urban centers and
gave individual states the power to participate in the outcome.
Beacon Hill lawmakers that supported this new bill suggest that this
system is fairer than the current Electoral College system and would
ensure that each individual vote across the country will be of equal
importance. In fact, this law tells Massachusetts voters that
regardless of which candidate the majority of the state supports,
all electoral votes of this state will go to the candidate that had
the most support in other states. This means that if Massachusetts
citizens vote differently than the rest of the country, this law
literally nullifies our votes. Moreover, this system discourages
voters from participating in the presidential election at all, since
it will be the larger states that will decide for the Commonwealth
which candidate to elect. Additionally, in the event of a close
election, the new system can result in multiple recounts. This would
delay a President-elect to take office and leave a sitting President
for an indefinite period of time if some state refuses to
participate in a recount to determine the popular vote.
The question remains as to which party benefits from this bill?
Under this law, Massachusetts would have given its electoral votes
to the Republican presidential candidate in many previous elections.
Will our lawmakers repeal this bill when our state will be forced to
award all electoral votes to a Republican candidate? We have the
precedent of changing laws based on the ruling party’s convenience.
For example, after the Republican Governor of Massachusetts had his
power to appoint an interim U.S. Senator taken away, our legislators
swiftly reversed that decision for the Democratic Governor to fill
the seat of late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
However, this bill in not a partisan, but a Constitutional issue of
fair representation. To respect the Constitution of the United
States, changes must be made nationally, through a Constitutional
Amendment, to ensure that all Americans vote under the same
My Democratic opponent, the current State Senator of the 1st Suffolk
and Middlesex District, voted for this new bill and also voted
against the proposal to put it as a question on this year’s ballot
for the people of Massachusetts to decide how they want to be
Even though this law will go into effect when states totaling 270
out of 538 electoral votes will enter into this agreement, this is a
slippery slope. Voters ask: what are the real reasons for our
legislators to adopt this law? Our elected officials should not
think that Massachusetts voters are not competent to cast their
votes. Therefore, the will of the voters that elected officials
serve should not be transferred to the residents of other states.
Frank Addivinola is the Republican State Senate candidate in the
1st Suffolk & Middlesex District that includes: Beacon Hill, North
End/Waterfront, West End, Financial District, East Boston, Revere,
Winthrop and east Cambridge. Visit http://www.FrankAddivinola.com to
learn more about his campaign.