on July 12, 2010, Douglas Jones wrote:
I believe that the National Popular Vote opens a can of worms.
Specifically, despite the fact that the NPV is being adopted on a state-by-state basis for the election of state electors, I believe it will face a challenge under Federal law because the different states have differing standards for who can vote and differing standards for what votes are counted. In effect, NPV under current state election laws is not consistent with one-man-one-vote.
I believe this will lead, invariably, to a court challenge as soon as a presidential election is held with NPV rules selecting enough electors to determine the outcome. I can only see two possible outcomes:
1) A court ruling against the states’ right to use NPV.
2) A court ruling requiring uniform election standards nationwide.
Option 2 would effectively federalize the conduct of elections for President, requiring the federal government to put into place a system of strong regulation, preempting the states right to set standards for voter registration, ballot interpretation and election conduct.
Option 2 would traumatic. The Federal government does not have the machinery in place to do what would be required, and the states have deeply entrenched election administrations and a deep tradition of states rights in this domain.
Disclaimer: These opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any institutions with which I may be affiliated, including but not limited to the University of Iowa and the Technical Guidelines Development Committee.
# # #
Doug Jones Bio from Wikipedia: Douglas W. Jones is a computer scientist at the University of Iowa. His research focuses primarily on computer security, particularly electronic voting. He has also contributed to the field of computer architecture, including an implementation of a one instruction set computer.
Jones’ involvement with electronic voting research began in 1994, when he was appointed to the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems. He chaired the board from 1999 to 2003, and has testified before the United States Commission on Civil Rights, the United States House Committee on Science and the Federal Election Commission on voting issues. In 2005 he participated as an election observer for the presidential election in Kazakhstan. He is currently a member of the ACCURATE electronic voting project.
Jones received a B.S. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1973, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1976 and 1980 respectively.
Sign up to receive email updates from our blog at http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=2378974&loc=en_US