The Electoral College Defense Act - Rep. Andrew Prout - Granite Grok

The Electoral College Defense Act

Electoral College Defense Act NH

As states across the Country push to enact the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which will award the White House to the winner of the National Popular Vote (if/when the Compact hits 270 electoral votes,) some New Hampshire Representatives have introduced the Electoral College Defense Act.

Andrew Prout (R-Hudson) has introduced a bill to stop the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. He dubbed the bill the Electoral College Defense Act, though it’s currently officially known as HB1531. The bill’s cosponsors are Reps. Verville, Costable, Edwards, Torosian, T. Lekas, and A. Lekas.

The bill, should it become law, would prevent the Secretary of State and all election officials in the state from releasing actual vote counts until after the Electors meet. By preventing the SoS and Town Clerks, et al. from releasing the vote counts, the NPVIC can not take effect, by its own wording. They will, however, be able to release enough information so that the country can know who won the state, such as percentages of the vote total. Excerpt from HB541 (NPVIC) below, reformatted.

Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each presidential slate in each State of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate.

HB541 – National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

HB541 received a unanimous “Interim Study” recommendation from the Election Law Committee. The bill would enact the NPVIC in New Hampshire if it were to become law.

If one state enables the legislation sponsored by Andrew Prout the NPVIC would be dead in the water. Can’t determine the popular vote winner if you can’t get the vote counts from one state, after all.

Will it Pass?

Overall, brilliant piece of legislation that defends the Electoral College as it exists. It won’t pass, probably, in New Hampshire. The Democrats by and large are in favor of eliminating the Electoral College, after all. But, maybe another state will see this bill and try to pass it there. Only takes one.

Bill Text – LSR 2020-2557