"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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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.
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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

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    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.

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    39. Myths about Unintended Consequences

    39.1  MYTH: There could be unintended consequences of a nationwide vote for President.

    QUICK ANSWER:

  • Change can have unintended and unexpected desirable consequences just as easily as it can have undesirable consequences.
  • The consequences of inaction are known and undesirable in the case of the current system of electing the President.
  • When the states switched to direct popular election of Governors in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there were no significant unintended or unexpected undesirable consequences.
  • If some undesirable unexpected consequence materializes, or some adjustment becomes advisable in the National Popular Vote compact, state legislation may be repealed or amended more easily than a federal constitutional amendment.
  • MORE DETAILED ANSWER:

    One of the generic arguments against any proposed change is that there might be unintended or unexpected consequences.

    The attractiveness of this generic argument is that opponents need not identify any specific consequence, and therefore no thoughtful discussion is possible.

    Nonetheless, there are several responses to this generic argument:

    (1) Change can have unintended and unexpected desirable consequences just as easily as it can have undesirable consequences.

    (2) No significant unexpected undesirable consequences surfaced when an analogous action was taken in a closely related situation.

    (3) Reversing the proposed action would be relatively easy if there were significant unexpected undesirable consequences.

    (4) The consequence of inaction is that the known shortcomings of the existing system will not be corrected.

    Concerning item (1), opponents do not specify what the consequences might be. Hence, we cannot ascertain whether these consequences are desirable or undesirable.

    Concerning item (2), there certainly were no significant unexpected undesirable consequences when the states switched to direct popular election of their chief executives. In 1787, only Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont conducted popular elections for the office of Governor. [626] During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the states switched, one-by-one, to direct popular election of Governors. Today, 100% of the states elect their Governors by direct popular vote. After over 5,000 direct popular elections for Governor in over two centuries, no state has ever decided to eliminate its direct popular election for Governor, and there is virtually no editorial, academic, legislative, or public criticism of direct election of Governors.

    Concerning item (3), the National Popular Vote compact is state legislation. If some undesirable unexpected consequence materializes or some adjustment becomes advisable, an interstate compact may be repealed or amended more easily than a federal constitutional amendment.

    Concerning item (4), the consequences of inaction are known and undesirable, and they include the following:

  • Four out of five states and four out of five voters are ignored in Presidential Elections. One of the consequences of the current winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in each separate state) is that presidential candidates do not expend significant time, effort, or money in states in which they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Presidential candidates ignore such states because they do not receive additional or fewer electoral votes based on the size of the margin by which they win or lose a state (as discussed in section 1.2.1).
  • The Current System Does Not Reliably Reflect the Nationwide Popular Vote. The state-by-state winner-take-all rule makes it possible for a candidate to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in four of the nation’s 57 presidential elections between 1789 and 2012—1 in 14 (as detailed in section 1.2.2). In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide (as discussed in section 1.2.2).
  • Not Every Vote Is Equal. The state-by-state winner-take-all rule creates variations of 1000-to-1 and more in the weight of a vote (as detailed in section 1.2.3).

  • 626

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