"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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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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    Associated Press
    Electoral system in for a change?
    Lawmakers approve bill supporting winner of national popular vote
    By Robin Hindery
    August 30, 2006

    SACRAMENTO - The Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would change the way California's 55 electoral votes are awarded during presidential elections, giving them to the winner of the national popular vote rather than the candidate who captured the state. Supporters said the move will boost California's relevance in national elections, while Republicans called the bill a "backdoor" way of bypassing the Constitution.

    The bill by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Anaheim, would add California to a multistate agreement that is part of a national campaign started in February by National Popular Vote.

    The Los Altos-based nonprofit seeks to change the way the country picks a president.

    It passed the Assembly on a largely party-line vote of 44-25 and goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has yet to take a position on the bill.

    Even if the governor signs it, the bill will take effect only if states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes - the number now required to win the presidency - also agree to decide the election by popular vote.

    Similar legislation is pending in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana and Missouri.

    California is a key fundraising state for presidential candidates but often is absent from the general campaign itinerary because it is considered safely Democratic.

    "Candidates don't come to California," said Assemblyman Rick Keene, R-Chico. "We are currently disenfranchised in the electoral process."

    Keene was one of the few Republicans to voice support for the measure, saying it was a preferable alternative to the current system, which "simply doesn't work."

    The bill's supporters say one of its effects will be to add California to the list of crucial stopover states by putting its high number of electoral votes behind the candidate who wins the popular vote. Such a move could put the left-leaning state in the Republican camp.

    But many Republicans opposed the measure, saying it tries to circumvent the Constitution.

    "This is a way of amending the Constitution through the backdoor," said Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine.

    Critics also argued that even if presidential candidates did campaign more intensively in California, they likely would focus on heavily populated urban areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, at the expense of other parts of the state.

    Supporters contend that the Electoral College, despite its long history, is not necessarily the best system. They say the bill is constitutional.

    "The beauty of our Democratic system is that we can make changes," said Assemblyman David Jones, D-Sacramento.

    "The Founding Fathers and the Constitution provide for just this sort of thing," Umberg added.

    The popular vote movement is a reaction to the 2000 presidential contest, when Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the presidency to George W. Bush, who won more Electoral College votes. Gore also won California that year.

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