A state house bill looking to neutralize the electoral college is under threat--by amendments. Right now, the electoral college gives disproportionate power to sparsely-populated states and ensures that candidates spend all their time in a handful of swing states. This bill, sponsored by Kirkland Rep. Roger Goodman (D), would correct that: when enough states adopt it, they all agree to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
In a conversation a couple weeks ago, Goodman boasted of how the bill was relatively amendment-immune. Previous popular vote bills were killed by multiple amendments, he said, but this one was drafted as a take-it-or-leave-it, join-the-national-compact deal. Nevertheless, Reps Bruce Chandler (R, Granger) Joel Kretz (R, Mustache) are undeterred.
Chandler introduced an amendment requiring that, for Washington to give its electoral votes to the popular vote winner, every state must have an identical slate of presidential candidates--something that never happens because invariably, third party candidates qualify in some states and not others.
Kretz's amendment would require that the Secretary of State certify that not a single vote that helped determine where Washington gives its electoral votes be cast by an incarcerated felon. Both Maine and Vermont allow incarcerated felons to vote, and both look likely to pass popular vote bills in the future. (Vermont's passed both houses but was vetoed last year.)
These amendments are of course nothing short of pure haterism, as a national popular vote would disempower the staunchly Republican farm states in the middle of the country. But haters beware: "We have enough votes to defeat the amendments," says Goodman.