Is Eliminating the Electoral College Possible?
“The system is ostensibly in place to ensure that nation’s rural areas have a voice in national elections, but as a larger and larger percentage of Americans settle in urban areas, the Electoral College is becoming more and more outdated,” writes Ryan Bort in Rolling Stone. Several Democratic presidential candidates have supported eliminating the Electoral College including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Pete Buttigieg, and Beto O’Rourke. But regardless of mainstream support within the Democratic party, Bort argues, getting rid of it would require a constitutional amendment, which would be very difficult to pass. Bort also points out that while politically difficult, the move actually receives large support among Americans. “A 2018 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 65 percent of Americans believe the national popular vote should decide presidential elections, compared to 32 percent who still believe in the Electoral College,” he says. For another take on the Electoral College and what an alternative would look like, read here.
|Joe Manchin Lone Democrat to Reject Equality Act|
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) recently became the first Democrat to criticize the Equality Act, a move that could make the bill even more difficult to pass. “I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools,” Manchin said in a statement posted Monday to his website. The senator also said that he would work with sponsors of the bill to “find a viable path forward for these critical protections so that I can vote in support of this bill.” But Manchin may be at odds with the majority of West Virginians, NBC News, and Fairness West Virginia say, citing recent PRRI data. A poll released by PRRI showed that majorities of Americans of every religion, political party, and state — from 56 percent in Arkansas to 81 percent in New Hampshire — support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
|West Virginia Sues Catholic Officials Over Sex Abuse Scandal|
On Tuesday, the West Virginia attorney general filed suit against the state’s lone Roman Catholic diocese and a retired bishop, claiming that they “knowingly employed pedophiles.” The suit argues that church leaders violated consumer protection law. Laws that are usually applied to businesses to ensure consumers are protected against faulty or dangerous goods. West Virginia officials now argue that the law applies to religious institutions as well. A PRRI survey, conducted in 2018, shows that 81 percent of American Catholics say child sexual abuse by clergy is a major problem.
|LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections: Popular but Not Widely Adopted|
PRRI’s new analysis highlights that while there is strong support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections, only 34 states and Washington D.C. have passed some type of legislation protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people from discrimination. West Virginia is one of the 16 states without laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Yesterday, a West Virginia assistant principal was fired after harassing a transgender student, according to reports from the New York Times. PRRI data shows that 63 percent of West Virginians support nondiscrimination protections of LGBT people.