Ross: To win presidential election without popular vote is playing hardball
According to conservatives of the non-Trump persuasion, the election laws we’re seeing in Georgia and Texas are part of an organized campaign to win the next presidential election in a special way — not by getting the most votes, but by making it easier to throw out the popular vote, if necessary, in the 26 states whose Congressional delegations are likely to be dominated by Republicans.
There is nothing illegal about this. You just pass a law giving the Legislature the final say on who gets to be an elector and leave the rest to the Constitution, which says that in the event of an inconclusive election, the job of choosing the president falls to the states. The states would each hold a vote of their congressional delegations.
So, if you can raise serious doubts about the election result, which we know is possible – and if 26 states have majority Republican delegations, the Republican Presidential candidate presumably could win without the popular vote or the Electoral College vote.
The only question is how the country would respond because this is hardball. And if one side hits the batter, the other side might try it, too. When you go county by county, it turns out most of the federal tax money in the United States comes from Democratic areas, which tend to be urban.
For example, in 2019, King County – blue to the core – paid $22.8 billion in federal taxes. The entire state of Mississippi, red to the core, paid only $11.2 billion. Less than half as much.
A federal tax boycott by angry blue taxpayers could pretty much shut down the government, and leave blue states free to spend the money the way they want. Republicans might have a hard time objecting to that, since that’s a core value – cutting federal spending and restoring state’s rights.
So I hope this whole idea of winning elections –by throwing out votes– turns out to be just another nutty conspiracy theory. Because it strikes me as pretty risky to national unity.
Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM, and on your smart speaker as well. Subscribe to the podcast here.