John Wisniewski was one of five Assembly Democrats who joined all Republicans in the lower chamber Dec. 13, 2007, by opposing the National Popular Vote Act.
Wisniewski voted against A 4225 – National Popular Vote Act, a law that includes the state of New Jersey in an agreement among various states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election.
Another Democratic candidate for governor who is a member of the state legislature, Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, supported the measure, which was signed into law by then-Gov. Jon Corzine.
The legislation changes the current operation of the electoral college in New Jersey, as part of an interstate compact that requires electors for president and vice president of the United States in each member state to cast their electoral votes for the presidential slate that won the popular vote nationwide.
The agreement would become effective only when it has been enacted by enough states to collectively possess the majority of the electoral votes required to decide a presidential win – currently 270 of the 538 electoral votes.
By enacting this legislation, New Jersey joined efforts in other states to reform the current system of electing the president and vice president of the United States, as supported by approximately 70% of all Americans.
This agreement ensures that all states are competitive in presidential elections, makes all votes important and equal, and guarantees that the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide wins the presidency.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Explanation It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes (CA, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA). It will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes.
Two-thirds (273 of 399) of the general-election campaign events in the 2016 presidential race were in just 6 states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Michigan).
Almost all of the events (94% or 375 of the 399) were in 12 states identified as “battlegrounds” by political analysts.
Almost 3 million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than President-elect Donald Trump, who won under the arcane rules for electing a president with 65,844,954 (48.2%) to his 62,979,879 (46.1%), according to revised and certified final election results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Only four others, Al Gore (2000), Grover Cleveland (1888), Andrew Jackson (1824) and Samuel Tilden (1876) lost in the Electoral College, even though they won a plurality of the popular vote.
All five candidates for the U.S. Presidency who captured a popular vote majority but were ultimately denied the White House were Democratic nominees.
Though the legitimacy of his victory has never come into serious doubt, Trump has repeatedly argued that he would have won the popular vote, too, if that had been his focus.
“I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote — but would campaign differently,” he said via Twitter.
In late November, Trump also falsely claimed that “millions” of Clinton voters had cast ballots “illegally.”
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” said Trump.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, introduced a bill to abolish the Electoral College.
“This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency,” Boxer said. “The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.”
While some argue the constitutional mechanism for choosing a president was intended to prevent the installation of a dangerous leader, the institution failed to prevent a Trump presidency.
Keith Olbermann said, “The Electoral College couldn’t have been better designed to prevent Trump if Hamilton had mentioned Trump’s hair.”
Lisa McCormick has called for abolishing the Electoral College as well as having endorsed the legislation Wisniewski and the Republicans opposed.
“The odds of the Electoral College denying Trump the White House are exceedingly small, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try,” said McCormick, who called on electors to choose a more responsible alternative.
However, the candidate is on record saying the Electoral College should be abolished.
“Wyoming gets 1 electoral vote for every 200,000 population,” said McCormick, criticizing the process on Twitter. “California gets 1 electoral vote for every 705,000 population. Majority Rules?”
“The Electoral College should be abolished or states must embrace the National Popular Vote,” said McCormick. “It had a chance to prove itself. It failed.”
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!