THE WAY DEMOCRACY WILL BE
For Immediate Release
/ July 4th 2008

RI GOVERNOR VETOES NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE COMPACT ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE DAY

The compact, which would create a national popular vote for president once enough states join, was approved by both chambers of General Assembly, and is supported by 74% of Rhode Islanders

Contact: Ari Savitzky, FairVote RI Director
ari@fairvote.org/ 529-3982


JULY 3, 2008--Governor Carcieri has vetoed a bill supported by both houses of the General Assembly and 74% of Rhode Islanders across party lines that would enter Rhode Island into a compact to directly elect the President and Vice-President. The state-based plan, which would come into effect once states comprising a majority of the Electoral College sign on, is already law in 4 states, and has been approved by 19 of the nation's legislative chambers.

"It's sad that, on the eve of our nation's Independence Day, the governor would veto a measure designed to elect the President of the United States democratically, under the principle of one person one equal vote," FairVote RI Director Ari Savitzky said. "232 years ago we declared this nation a democracy in which the people were the sovereign power, and the governor's veto flies in the face of both the people's desire for a national popular vote, as well as the principles that this nation was founded upon."

"Tomorrow we will celebrate the freedom of the American people," Savitzky said, "That freedom should include the right to directly elect our president on a one-person one-vote basis."

In his veto message, Governor Carcieri claimed that "no serious effort had been made" to amend the Constitution to create a national popular vote, despite the fact that amendments have been proposed and voted on in Congress several times in the 20th century.

More broadly, the governor claimed that the compact "subverts the Constitution." But, Savitzky said, the consitution gives states the ability to award their electors however they see fit.

"The Constitution is very clear as to who has the power to decide how electoral votes are awarded, and that power is vested exclusively and specifically in the state legislatures; The NPV compact flows directly from that constitutional basis," Savitzky said. "By vetoing this measure, it is the Governor who has subverted that principle."
                                                                                                                                                                   Advocates are now pushing for an over-ride of the governor's veto.

"Rhode Island is currently ignored in presidential elections under the safe state versus swing state Electoral College system," Savitzky said. "A national popular vote will mean that all of our votes will matter."

Read more at nationalpopularvote.com.