The End of the Electoral College: Later, If Not Sooner?
posted by Josh Goodman
Last week, I sketched out the scenarios under which an interstate compact could replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote system in time for the 2012 presidential election. My prognosis: The chances of enough states approving the compact are relatively gloomy.
But, over the long-term, the plan might have a better chance. Nothing in the text of the agreement creates any deadline for states to enter into the deal.
The inertia of the law-making process (you have to get two legislative bodies and a governor to agree) makes it difficult for any radical idea to win approval in many states quickly. That same inertia, however, makes it unlikely that states will rescind their approval of the pact once they've given it.
As a result, I can imagine a slow march to ratification over a couple of decades. I can also imagine the plan going dormant for a while if interest in the topic fades -- until the next time the popular vote and Electoral College diverge.