Legislation Filed to Open Dialogue about Presidential Elections
Alaska State Legislature to Consider National Popular Vote Bill
Juneau – This week Representative Zach Fansler (D-Bethel) introduced legislation for Alaska to join a growing number of states in an interstate compact to ensure the winner of the national popular vote wins Presidential elections.
“My intent in introducing the National Popular Vote Bill is to open a conversation about the idea that every vote matters regardless of where you live. Citizens of all races, religions, and origin have struggled for the right to vote and to have that vote matter,” said Rep. Fansler. “Under the current Electoral College system, the will of a majority of Americans can be overridden by an antiquated system of designating electors based on state by state election results. This legislation allows Alaska to join other states that believe every vote should matter when we elect our President and Vice President.”
The current Electoral College system allows states to enact winner-take-all allocations of electoral votes, which gives candidates no reason to campaign in states where they are certain to win or lose. In the 2012 Presidential election only 12 of the 50 states hosted general election Presidential campaign events. Alaska was not one of those 12 states.
“Alaskan votes should not be taken for granted in Presidential elections. Let’s talk about how we ensure every Alaskan vote is just as valuable as a vote in a swing state,” said co-sponsor Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks).
The National Popular Vote Bill has received bipartisan support across the nation and has been enacted by 11 states representing 165 electoral votes. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would not take effect until states representing a majority of electoral votes pass legislation to join the compact. The issue is within the jurisdiction of the Alaska State Legislature because the U.S. Constitution gives individual states the right to control the process of awarding their electoral votes. This bill also retains Alaska’s right to rescind participation in the compact in the future.
House Bill 175 was formally introduced on Monday and referred to the House State Affairs and Judiciary Committees.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.