"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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    Burlington Free Press
    Vermont Legislature makes third try for presidential popular vote bill
    By Nancy Remsen
    February 16, 2011

    MONTPELIER — Members of the Legislature are trying — for the third time — to enact a bill supporting the election of U.S. presidents by national popular vote.

    The Senate Government Operations Committee voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of the measure.

    Under the change the bill envisions, each state's electors — the folks who cast ballots in the Electoral College — would support the presidential candidate who tallied the most votes across the nation, not the most votes in individual states. As a result, the outcome of the popular vote couldn't be negated by a different outcome in the Electoral College.

    If the bill becomes law, Vermont would become the seventh state to adopt this agreement. A change in the process would be triggered only if enough states sign onto the agreement. The magic number is sufficient states to deliver 270 electoral votes, which would be enough to elect a president.

    Vermont would add three electoral votes to the count. The other states that have adopted the agreement are Hawaii with four votes; Illinois, 20; Massachusetts, 11; Maryland, 10; New Jersey, 14; and Washington, 12.

    "This is something that will empower people," said Sen. Anthony Pollina, D/P-Washington.

    Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham, argued that the change would remedy the problem of candidates who become president even though they didn't win the most votes. He cited three instances:

    • 1876, when Rutherford Hayes became president even though Samuel Tilden had more votes.
    • 1888, when Benjamin Harrison won over Grover Cleveland in the Electoral College.
    • 2000, when George W. Bush became president despite having fewer votes than Al Gore.

    Sen. Peg Flory, R-Rutland, the sole opponent on the committee, argued the problem seemed to be that states had laws that give the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes in those states all of their electoral votes, rather than a percentage of the electoral vote matching the candidate's victory margin.

    "That is something states have the ability to change," she said.

    She worried that the proposed change would weaken Vermont's influence. She predicted candidates would focus on locales with significant population and skip Vermont.

    Catherine Rader of the Vermont League of Women Voters noted that presidential candidates in recent elections concentrated on swing states — those up for grabs with significant electoral votes.The league has supported electing a president by national popular vote for decades, Rader said.

    The Vermont Public Interest Research Group and the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont also support the proposal.

    Allen Gilbert, executive director of the ACLU of Vermont, said the agreement is "one of the more ingenious ways to get around the sticky problem created by the Electoral College." Using the agreement strategy, a constitutional amendment isn't required to do away with the Electoral College.

    "As far as we can tell, there is no constitutional issue," Gilbert said.

    The Legislature passed this bill in 2008, but Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed it. He criticized the bill for circumventing the process of amending the U.S. Constitution.

    He added, "I am not willing to cede Vermont's voice in the election, and ultimately in the operations of our federal government, to the influence and interests of larger states that would most assuredly prevail in all but the rarest occasions."

    The Senate passed the bill again in 2009, but the House never acted on the measure, knowing Douglas would veto it again.

    The bill's fate has changed with the election of Gov. Peter Shumlin, a former sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

    The full Senate is expected to vote on the proposal late this week.

    In the House, Rep. Tim Jerman, D-Essex, predicts passage, given that he collected 80 signatures in support of his identical bill.

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