Electoral College becomes a partisan issue

It’s official: Republicans like the Electoral College and Al Gore doesn’t.

The 2012 platform passed at the Republican National Convention states that the party opposes a current movement to abolish the state-by-state method of choosing the president.

“We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College. We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose “national popular vote” would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.”

That may seem like an abstract argument, but it’s not. A group called the National Popular Vote is attempting to get rid of the Electoral College, but not by amending the Constitution, a move that would likely fail.

Instead, the group is trying to get individual states to pass laws awarding their electors not to the winner of that state but to the candidate who wins the most votes nationwide. (The change would only take effect if states representing the majority of the Electoral College all passed the law.)

The approach, known as an “interstate compact,” is modeled after the legal framework behind the popular multi-state Powerball lottery.

Former vice president Al Gore, who won the popular vote when he ran for president in 2000 but lost the Electoral College, recently argued that the Electoral College should be abolished:

“I’ve seen how these states are written off and ignored, and people are effectively disenfranchised in the presidential race. And I really do now think it is time to change that,” Gore said on Current TV, an independent cable network that he co-founded.

Meantime, the Democratic Party platform, released this week, makes no mention of the Electoral College or attempts to abolish it.