"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
Ask your legislators to pass National Popular Vote

ZIP:
Endorsed by 2,110
State Legislators
In addition to 1,129 state legislative sponsors (shown above), 981 other legislators have cast recorded votes in favor of the National Popular Vote bill.
Progress by State

Tom Golisano

Entrepreneur Tom Golisano Endorses National Popular Vote

Short Explanation
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee a majority of the Electoral College to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would reform the Electoral College so that the electoral vote in the Electoral College reflects the choice of the nation's voters for President of the United States.   more
11 Enactments
The National Popular Vote bill has been enacted into law in states possessing 165 electoral votes — 61% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the legislation.

  • Maryland - 10 votes
  • Massachusetts - 11
  • Washington - 12 votes
  • Vermont - 3 votes
  • Rhode Island - 4 votes
  • DC - 3 votes
  • Hawaii - 4 votes
  • New Jersey - 14 votes
  • Illinois - 20 votes
  • New York - 29 votes
  • California - 55 votes

  • Videos

    Fox Interview

    CBS Video

    Popular Vote

    Class Election

    more videos

    Advisory Board
    John Anderson (R-I–IL)
    Birch Bayh (D–IN)
    John Buchanan (R–AL)
    Tom Campbell (R–CA)
    Tom Downey (D–NY)
    D. Durenberger (R–MN)
    Jake Garn (R–UT)
    What Do You Think
    How should we elect the President?
    The candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states.
    The current Electoral College system.

    Add this poll to your web site

    33. Myth about Tyranny of the Majority

    33.1  MYTH: The state-by-state winner-take-all rule prevents tyranny of the majority.

    QUICK ANSWER:

  • Winner-take-all statutes enable a mere plurality of voters in each state to control 100% of a state’s electoral vote, thereby extinguishing the voice of the remainder of the state’s voters. The state-by-state winner-take-all rule does not prevent a “tyranny of the majority” but instead is an example of it. As Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton said in 1824, “This is … a case … of votes taken away, added to those of the majority, and given to a person to whom the minority is opposed.”
  • It is impossible to discern any specific threat of “tyranny of the majority” that was posed by the first-place candidates in the four elections in which the Electoral College elected the second-place candidate to the Presidency (1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000).
  • Under the American system of government, protection against a “tyranny of the majority” comes from specific protections of individual rights contained in the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights; the “checks and balances” provided by dividing government into three branches (legislative, executive, and judicial); the existence of an independent judiciary; and the fact that the United States is a “compound republic” in which governmental power is divided between two distinct levels of government—state and national.
  • MORE DETAILED ANSWER:

    Hans von Spakovsky has written:

    “The U.S. election system addresses the Founders’ fears of a ‘tyranny of the majority,’ a topic frequently discussed in the Federalist Papers. In the eyes of the Founders, this tyranny was as dangerous as the risks posed by despots like King George.” [606]

    State winner-take-all statutes enable a mere plurality of voters in each state to control 100% of a state’s electoral vote, thereby extinguishing the voice of all the other voters in a state.

    Suppressing the voice of a state’s minority is, by definition, an example of “tyranny of the majority.” The state-by-state winner-take-all rule does not prevent a “tyranny of the majority” but instead is an example of it.

    In 1824, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton said the following about the winner-take-all rule in a Senate speech:

    “The general ticket system, now existing in 10 States was the offspring of policy, and not of any disposition to give fair play to the will of the people. It was adopted by the leading men of those States, to enable them to consolidate the vote of the State. …The rights of minorities are violated because a majority of one will carry the vote of the whole State. … This is … a case … of votes taken away, added to those of the majority, and given to a person to whom the minority is opposed. [607] [Emphasis added]

    The winner-take-all rule treats all the voters who did not vote for the first-place candidate as if they had voted for the first-place candidate.

    In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    Table 9.45 shows the number of voters who opposed the candidate who received the most votes in each separate state in 2012. [608] Columns 2 through 5 show the number of votes cast in each state in 2012 for Barack Obama (Democrat), Mitt Romney (Republican), Gary Johnson (Libertarian), and Jill Stein (Green). Column 6 presents the number of votes received by the other 22 minor-party and independent candidates that were on the ballot in 2012 in at least one state (and write-in candidates). Column 7 shows the total vote for each state.

    Column 8 of table 9.45 shows the number of voters who did not vote for the candidate who received the most votes in each state. Taking Alabama as an example, former Massachusetts Governor Romney received the most popular votes in the state (1,255,925 out of a total of 2,074,338 votes). However, a total of 818,413 other voters in Alabama did not favor Romney, but instead voted for President Obama, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Dr. Jill Stein, or one of the other minor-party candidates. Nonetheless, the winner-take-all rule diverted the 818,413 votes cast for Obama, Johnson, Stein, and other minor-party candidates and treated them as if they had been cast for Mitt Romney.

    Table 9.45 Votes diverted by the winner-take-all rule in 2012.

    State

    Obama

    Romney

    Johnson

    Stein

    Others

    Total

    Diverted

    AL

    795,696

    1,255,925

    12,328

    3,397

    6,992

    2,074,338

    818,413

    AK

    122,640

    164,676

    7,392

    2,917

     

    297,625

    132,949

    AZ

    1,025,232

    1,233,654

    32,100

    7,816

    452

    2,299,254

    1,065,600

    AR

    394,409

    647,744

    16,276

    9,305

    1,734

    1,069,468

    421,724

    CA

    7,854,285

    4,839,958

    143,221

    85,638

    115,455

    13,038,557

    5,184,272

    CO

    1,322,998

    1,185,050

    35,540

    7,508

    18,121

    2,569,217

    1,246,219

    CT

    905,083

    634,892

    12,580

    863

    5,542

    1,558,960

    653,877

    DE

    242,584

    165,484

    3,882

    1,940

    31

    413,921

    171,337

    D.C.

    267,070

    21,381

    2,083

    2,458

    772

    293,764

    26,694

    FL

    4,235,965

    4,162,341

    44,681

    8,933

    19,281

    8,471,201

    4,235,236

    GA

    1,773,827

    2,078,688

    45,324

     

     

    3,897,839

    1,819,151

    HI

    306,658

    121,015

    3,840

    3,184

     

    434,697

    128,039

    ID

    212,787

    420,911

    9,453

    4,402

    4,721

    652,274

    231,363

    IL

    3,019,512

    2,135,216

    56,229

    30,222

     

    5,241,179

    2,221,667

    IN

    1,152,887

    1,420,543

    50,111

    625

    368

    2,624,534

    1,203,991

    IA

    822,544

    730,617

    12,926

    3,769

    4,882

    1,574,738

    752,194

    KS

    440,726

    692,634

    20,456

     

    5,017

    1,158,833

    466,199

    KY

    679,370

    1,087,190

    17,063

    6,337

    7,252

    1,797,212

    710,022

    LA

    809,141

    1,152,262

    18,157

    6,978

    7,527

    1,994,065

    841,803

    ME

    401,306

    292,276

    9,352

    8,119

     

    711,053

    309,747

    MD

    1,677,844

    971,869

    30,195

    17,110

    1,521

    2,698,539

    1,020,695

    MA

    1,921,290

    1,188,314

    30,920

    20,691

     

    3,161,215

    1,239,925

    MI

    2,564,569

    2,115,256

    7,774

    21,897

    21,465

    4,730,961

    2,166,392

    MN

    1,546,167

    1,320,225

    35,098

    13,023

    11,515

    2,926,028

    1,379,861

    MS

    562,949

    710,746

    6,676

    1,588

    3,625

    1,285,584

    574,838

    MO

    1,223,796

    1,482,440

    43,151

     

    7,936

    2,757,323

    1,274,883

    MT

    201,839

    267,928

    14,165

     

     

    483,932

    216,004

    NE

    302,081

    475,064

    11,109

     

    2,408

    790,662

    315,598

    NV

    531,373

    463,567

    10,968

     

    3,240

    1,009,148

    477,775

    NH

    369,561

    329,918

    8,212

     

    708

    708,399

    338,838

    NJ

    2,122,786

    1,478,088

    21,035

    9,886

    6,704

    3,638,499

    1,515,713

    NM

    415,335

    335,788

    27,787

    2,691

    2,156

    783,757

    368,422

    NY

    4,471,871

    2,485,432

    47,092

    39,856

    8,652

    7,052,903

    2,581,032

    NC

    2,178,391

    2,270,395

    44,515

     

    619

    4,493,920

    2,223,525

    ND

    124,966

    188,320

    5,238

    1,362

    3,046

    322,932

    134,612

    OH

    2,827,621

    2,661,407

    49,493

    18,574

    23,736

    5,580,831

    2,753,210

    OK

    443,547

    891,325

     

     

     

    1,334,872

    443,547

    OR

    970,488

    754,175

    24,089

    19,427

    7,816

    1,775,995

    805,507

    PA

    2,990,274

    2,680,434

    49,441

    21,341

     

    5,741,490

    2,751,216

    RI

    279,677

    157,204

    4,388

    2,421

    2,359

    446,049

    166,372

    SC

    865,941

    1,071,645

    16,321

    5,446

    4,765

    1,964,118

    892,473

    SD

    145,039

    210,610

    5,795

     

    2,371

    363,815

    153,205

    TN

    960,709

    1,462,330

    18,623

    6,515

    8,661

    2,456,838

    994,508

    TX

    3,308,124

    4,569,843

    88,580

    24,657

    2,647

    7,993,851

    3,424,008

    UT

    251,813

    740,600

    12,572

    3,817

    8,206

    1,017,008

    276,408

    VT

    199,239

    92,698

    3,487

     

    3,866

    299,290

    100,051

    VA

    1,971,820

    1,822,522

    31,216

    8,627

    13,058

    3,847,243

    1,875,423

    WA

    1,755,396

    1,290,670

    42,202

    20,928

    16,320

    3,125,516

    1,370,120

    WV

    238,230

    417,584

    6,114

    4,593

    4,035

    670,556

    252,972

    WI

    1,620,985

    1,410,966

    20,439

    7,665

    11,379

    3,071,434

    1,450,449

    WY

    69,286

    170,962

    5,326

     

    3,487

    249,061

    78,099

    Total

    65,897,727

    60,930,782

    1,275,015

    466,526

    384,448

    128,954,498

    56,256,178

    The candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide did not win the Presidency in four of our nation’s 57 presidential elections.

    If the winner-take-all rule protects the nation against a “tyranny of the majority,” it is appropriate to inquire as to what specific threat of “tyranny” was posed by the first-place candidate in the four elections in which the Electoral College elected the second-place candidate (1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000)?

    What “tyranny” did the winner-take-all rule prevent by not giving the White House to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide in 1888 (Grover Cleveland) and instead installing the second-place candidate (Benjamin Harrison)? [609]

    If Andrew Jackson presented the threat of “tyranny” in 1824 (when the Electoral College denied him the Presidency), why did Jackson not present an equal threat in 1828 and 1832 (when he was elected by the Electoral College)?

    Under the American system of government, protection against a “tyranny of the majority” primarily comes from the numerous protections of individual rights contained in the Bill of Rights as well as numerous specific clauses of the original constitution, including, but not limited to, the prohibition of ex post facto laws, prohibition of bills of attainder (i.e., legislative acts that impose criminal penalties on named individuals), and prohibition on religious tests for office.

    The “checks and balances” provided by dividing government into three branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) provides additional protection against a “tyranny of the majority.” In particular, the existence of an independent judiciary provides significant protection against “tyranny of the majority.”

    Additional protection comes from the fact that the United States is a “compound republic” in which governmental power is divided between two distinct levels of government—state and national. James Madison explains the concept of a “compound republic” in Federalist No. 51.

    “In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.” [610] [Emphasis added]


    607 The 2012 election returns shown in table 9.35, table 9.36, table 9.45, and appendix HH were obtained from the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) web site at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2012/popular-vote.html. The NARA web site presents the number of votes shown on each state’s Certificate of Ascertainment. There are two differences between our tables and that on the NARA web site. First, the NARA web site presents votes by party, whereas our table is based on votes by candidate. This difference in treatment creates a difference in the case of New York (which uses fusion voting). The NARA web site (as of January 4, 2013) showed the 141,056 votes that the Obama-Biden slate received on the Working Families Party line (and contained in New York’s Certificate of Ascertainment) as minor-party votes in column 6 of their table, instead of showing these votes as Obama-Biden votes in column 2 of their table. Similarly, the web site shows the 256,171 votes that the Romney-Ryan slate received on the Conservative Party line as minor-party votes in column 6, instead of showing these votes as Romney-Ryan votes in column 3. Our table puts these Obama-Biden votes and Romney-Ryan votes in columns 2 and 3, respectively, in conformity with the practice of the New York State Board of Elections Thus, our table shows (in column 6) only 8,652 votes for minor-party candidates in New York. See section 2.10 for additional details on fusion in New York and figure 2.11 was an example of a presidential ballot in New York. Secondly, our table reflects the adjustment (certified on December 31, 2012) to New York state’s vote totals resulting from the fact that an executive order issued on the evening before Election Day allowed voters in counties affected by Hurricane Sandy to cast provisional ballot at any polling place in the state. A total of 400,629 additional ballots (over 300,000 in New York City alone) were counted as a result of this executive order.

    608 See the discussion of the 1888 election in section 9.8.3.

    609 Publius. The structure of the government must furnish the proper checks and balances between the different departments. Independent Journal. February 6, 1788. Federalist No. 51.

    610 Gringer, David. 2008. Why the National Popular Vote plan is the wrong way to abolish the Electoral College. 108 Columbia Law Review 182. January 2008. Pages 219–220.

    Reform the Electoral College so that the electoral vote reflects the nationwide popular vote for President