Senate District 2
Theresa Gavarone
COLUMN: National Popular Vote Compact is Bad for Ohio
A Guest Column by State Senator Theresa Gavarone
April 18, 2019

Electing the President of the United States is one of most important parts of our political process. Citizens in each state and the District of Colombia have the opportunity to vote every four years for the man or woman who will become the most powerful person in the world. It is a system that was established by our founding fathers and to this day is the best way to select the executive of our federal government.

However, some want to see a change.

Recently, a group from outside our state started the process of amending our Constitution so that the winner of the popular vote for president would receive all of Ohio’s electoral votes. They would get our votes regardless of who Ohioans actually vote for. This idea is labeled as “The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact." Thankfully, that group recently decided to withdraw this application, so Ohio will not be sucked into this compact for the 2020 election.

However, it does not end there.

I’ll let opponents of the Electoral College make their own arguments and instead explain the devastating effects that their proposal would have for the citizens of Ohio and the value of our votes.

Despite the past two major elections for president and governor in Ohio, we are still decidedly a “battleground” state. Candidates from each party, both during the primaries and general election, make numerous trips to Ohio to state their case for why they are the right person to lead our country. This is important because we are a diverse state that contains many large urban areas, while also having some of the most rural parts of the country within our state.

The beliefs and interests of someone living in Columbus or Cleveland are likely drastically different than a person who lives in Wauseon or North Baltimore. It is incumbent upon the candidate to show why they are the best candidate for both the farmer in Ottawa County and attorney in downtown Cincinnati.

If Ohio joins the Compact, then the relevance of our state becomes the same as North Dakota or Vermont and the power of our vote is considerably weakened. If a vote in New York City (8.6 million people) or Los Angeles (4 million people) carries the same exact weight as a vote in Vermilion (11,000 people) or Northwood (6,000 people) where do you think a candidate is going to be spending his or her time?

 I can almost guarantee you that Northwest Ohio would not see a presidential candidate make an in-person pitch for our votes, should this Compact ever become reality. 

Topics like agriculture, the opioid crisis, or water quality in Lake Erie, frequently addressed by candidates, because of their importance to Ohioans, would be replaced by whatever concerns people in Philadelphia, Boston or San Francisco have because of the population size of those areas.

I take our presence on the national stage very seriously and I know my constituents do as well. Outside groups will come to Ohio in the future to push an idea that we need to somehow give up our relevance for the better of the country.

Do not let them fool you.

The Electoral College is what is best for Ohio and our country.

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