LFC thanks Brian Ames of Portage County for this well crafted letter to the Ohio Attorney General dealing with the Popular Vote Amendment meant to circumvent the Electoral College. Well done, my friend….
April 3, 2019
Ohio Attorney General
Constitutional Offices Section
30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Re: The Presidential Election Popular Vote Amendment Summary Petition
Dear Attorney General Yost:
Having reviewed the subject summary, I have concluded that it is not a “fair and truthful statement of the proposed law or constitutional amendment.” R.C. 3519.01(A). The summary does not fairly and accurately inform potential signers of the proposal’s content.
The summary states as follows:
This Amendment would add Article XX, Section 1 to the Ohio Constitution to:
• Express the will of the People that every vote for President be valued equally and that
the candidate who wins the most votes nationally becomes President.
• Require the General Assembly, within sixty days of the Amendment’s adoption, take all
necessary legislative action so that the winner of the national popular vote is elected
This Amendment may result in Ohio Presidential Electors voting for the Presidential candidate who won the national popular vote but not Ohio’s popular vote. The summary implies that Ohio Constitution can effect a “will of the People that every vote for
President be valued equally and that the candidate who wins the most votes nationally becomes President.”
The Ohio Constitution cannot be amended to affect the value of votes for President in the
other states. The effect of this amendment would ensure quite the opposite than the stated “express the will of the People”. Since there is not and can not be any reciprocity, the value of votes for President in Ohio would be diluted by the votes for President in the other states.
Furthermore, the summary implies that the General Assembly can take legislative action so that the winner of the national popular vote is elected President, within sixty days or sixty years of the Amendment’s adoption. The General Assembly can not enact legislation effective on the other states.
That lies within the powers of the U.S. Congress, if anywhere. Since the mandate is ultra vires, “necessary legislative action” is a nullity.
Finally, the summary fails to disclose the considerable risk of the proposed amendment being stricken down by the Federal Courts, most certainly right after a Presidential election when there would be little time for the courts to resolve the issue. If the Federal Courts were to strike the propose amendment down, there would be no remedy for the campaigns who relied upon it to their detriment
For all these reasons, the ballot summary must be rejected as an unfair and untruthful representation of the proposed amendment.