When it comes to bucking political and cultural tradition, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been at the forefront over the course of the last few months.
First and foremost, now that the statehouse in Old Dominion is controlled by Democrats, the Second Amendment has come under heavy fire – pun intended. Virginia residents could soon be forced to hand over their high-capacity magazines, register their assault rifles, or have some of their equipment confiscated straight up.
But it’s not only the right to bear arms that could soon be obsolete in Virginia: The electoral college could disappear as well.
Virginia’s House of Delegates passed a bill on Tuesday that would award the state’s electoral votes to the national winner of the presidential popular vote.
The measure, HB 177, would look to incorporate Virginia into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement established by each participating state’s laws to put its electoral votes toward the winner of the national popular vote, instead of the state’s own popular vote.
“This idea that some American citizens should have more power than other American citizens to choose the president of the United States, I, frankly, find profoundly offensive,” Del. Mark Levine, the sponsor of the bill, told CNN over the phone.
Levine noted that presidential candidates tend to campaign only in a handful of bellwether states rather than visiting all of them — a strategy that tends to slight heavily Republican and Democratic states, whose votes are less likely to be up for grabs.
The electoral college was thrust back into the spotlight after the 2016 election, as Democratic voters struggled with the fact that Donald Trump outplayed Hillary Clinton in the longstanding institution while still gathering fewer total votes than the former Secretary of State.