Maine is one of numerous states that is considering or has passed legislation to join the national popular vote interstate compact, which would see each give its electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the national popular vote and bypassing the Electoral College.
So far, 12 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the compact, which will go into effect once the coalition has a total of at least 270 electoral votes between them. Currently, the number stands at 181.
But Maine’s former governor, Paul LePage, is worried that such a move would mean minority voters will have a louder voice than white voters, turning white Americans into “forgotten people.”
The Maine Beacon reported on Thursday that LePage told hosts of the WVOM morning show he finds the proposal “an insane process.”
“Actually what would happen if they do what they say they’re gonna do is white people will not have anything to say. It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida,” he said.
Further, LePage warned that “we’re gonna be forgotten people.”
The Beacon noted that the former governor’s comments are in lockstep with others in the Republican party who have brought historically fringe white supremacist sentiments into the mainstream conservative movement.
However, this is not new for LePage. In 2016, during a press conference intended for him to apologize for leaving a threatening voicemail, LePage said “the enemy right now” is “people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”
He has made a habit of calling in to conservative radio shows since leaving office, according to The Beacon, and has reportedly threatened numerous times to challenge Governor Janet Mills for re-election in 2022.
Although LePage’s comments garnered the expected disdain on social media, some users noted that while the former governor is wrong, “race is an instructive lens through which to view the current presidential electoral system.”
The Beacon writes: “The power of white voters is significantly magnified by the Electoral College, which itself is a product of the nation’s history of slavery.”