Every Vote Counts Amendment
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The Every Vote Counts Amendment is a joint resolution to amend the United States Constitution, providing for the popular election of the president and vice president under a new electoral system. This proposed amendment would abolish the Electoral College in United States presidential elections and have every presidential election determined by a plurality of the national vote. It was introduced by Representative Gene Green (D) Texas on January 4, 2005. Representative Green then again introduced the legislation on January 7, 2009 as H.J.Res. 9..
As of April 2009[update] two other joint resolutions have been proposed in the 111th Congress to amend the Constitution to establish a national popular vote for the president and vice-president. Sponsored by Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) Illinois, H.J.Res. 36 would require a majority vote for president. Sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson (D) Florida, S.J.Res. 4 would leave the method of election to an Act of Congress.
Text of legislation
- Section 1. The President and Vice President shall be elected by the people of the several States and the district constituting the seat of government of the United States.
- Section 2. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of Senators and Representatives in Congress from that State, except that the legislature of any State may prescribe less restrictive qualifications with respect to residence and Congress may establish uniform residence and age qualifications.
- Section 3. The persons having the greatest number of votes for President and Vice President shall be elected.
- Section 4. Each elector shall cast a single vote jointly applicable to President and Vice President. Names of candidates may not be joined unless they shall have consented thereto and no candidate may consent to the candidate's name being joined with that of more than one other person.
- Section 5. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any candidate for President or Vice President before the day on which the President-elect or Vice President-elect has been chosen, and for the case of a tie in any election.
- Section 6. This article shall apply with respect to any election for President and Vice President held after the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on the date of the ratification of this article.
Section 1, 3, and 4 relate to the process of the election. Section 1 states that the President and Vice President will be elected by the residents of states. Section 3 states that the election is won by the candidate with the majority votes. Section 4 pushes the joint candidacy requirement enacted by all states. So, that candidates can not be joined by more than one other person on the ballot. To prevent misinterpretation for voters by having too many choices. Section 2 relates to the voter qualifications in three implementations. The first implementation is re-using requirements for qualification to vote that were established and used for the electoral system. The qualifications stated in Article 1 section 2, also the 17th Amendment pushed by the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments. The second implementation would effect the resident periods in states, allowing states to make little to no waiting periods to vote if one changed residence of state. The last implementation would allow Congress to input age requirements for elections and establish uniform residence. Pushing past the 24th Amendment and making the age requirement higher or lower. Section 5 would give power to Congress. If the Amendment was put into place, and a candidate died or there was a tie between to candidates it would allow Congress to make decisions depending on the event if it was to take place. Such as, postponing an election. Section 5 gives more power to Congress over the election process and system. Section 6 relates to if the Amendment was to be put into place. As long as the Amendment is put into place one year before the next election the Amendment would be used on the next Presidential election.
After introduction of Amendment
The Every Vote Counts Amendment was shutdown. Although the Ideas of Every Vote Counts Amendment led to H.J Res.36, another electoral college reform proposal that included a direct popular election. H.J. Res.36 was introduced in the 111th Congress of Representatives on March 3, 2009 by Rep Jesse L. Jackson.