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Massachusetts is waiving our rights to elect a President

By Frank J. Addivinola, Jr., State Senate candidate
July 29, 2010

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 representation system.

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 represented.

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 to learn more about his campaign.


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