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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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    California Progress Report
    California Assembly Passes Electoral College Reform
    National Popular Vote Bill Passes 49-31 and Now Goes to State Senate
    By Frank D. Russo
    May 31, 2006

    California is one step closer to joining a national movement that would change the way that the Electoral College works without amending the U.S. Constitution.

    AB 2948 by Assemblymember Tom Umberg, Chair of the Assembly Elections Committee is a simple bill that would have California join in an interstate compact with other states to award our electoral votes to the Presidential candidate who won the national popular vote.

    The picture above shows Umberg at a press conference last week, flanked by California attorney Barry Fadem and Dr. John Koza, who together with former Republican Congressman Tom Campbell, are the key proponents of this measure. In their hands is the book written by Fadem, Koza, and others that you can read for free and download it if you are interested in all the arguments and details carefully worked out as part of a 50 state campaign that is just beginning to ramp up.

    They have thought of every conceivable argument against this approach, leaving opponents with the sole intellectually defensible argument of being in opposition to “direct democracy,” an evil some Republican Assemblymembers believe is an affront to the founding fathers. As we all know, the original Constitution did not have the direct election by the people of their US Senators until it was amended. Women, slaves, and those who did not own property or the means to pay a poll tax were also excluded.

    Despite some alarmist statements made by some Republican Assemblymembers, this measure is provided for in the US Constitution, which specifically allows for interstate compacts and also gives the states plenary power to award their electoral votes as they wish. Two states, Nebraska and Maine, allot their votes by Congressional Districts.

    The press release issued by Assemblymember Umberg’s office states that this bill passed on a “bipartisan” vote. Unfortunately, however, only one Republican, Rick Keene, joined the entire Democratic membership of the Assembly to vote for this bill. They apparently fear “direct democracy” and want California to remain irrelevant in Presidential campaigns along with most of the nation, except for providing the cash for them. Maybe they are happy that California only receives back from the federal government 79 cents of every dollar paid in taxes, and are content that the few states in play in Presidential politics have more clout in getting the attention of those running for President.

    Umberg put it this way:

    “California needs to be more than a campaign stop for cash and photo ops by those seeking to lead our country. California, like the other ‘safe’ states, is virtually ignored during presidential campaigns. As a result, issues that are of concern to our 15 million voters aren’t addressed adequately by the candidates.

    The current system of running for president essentially disenfranchises voters in the more than 30 “safe” states. Campaigns focus on the 6 or so select “battleground” states skewing the entire focus of the campaign to what is important in those particular states. States have become more important than individual voters.

    A vote in Anaheim, California should be as important as a vote in Akron, Ohio. AB 2948 will make the presidential campaign about voters and not about states. That is not only a long overdue change, but reflects the true essence of democracy.”

    You don’t have to read a book to understand the workings of AB 2948. The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) said it all today in reporting California’s historic action:

    In states across the country, a simple idea is building momentum. Rather than amending the Constitution to guarantee that the winner of the national popular vote wins the Presidency, why not simply amend state law?

    The gist is this: states enter into an agreement. If states with enough electors to elect a President on their own pass similar measures, all the measures go into effect and the bound states award all of their electors to the winner of the popular vote nationally.

    You can read the Assembly Floor Analysis which is a short and sweet 3 pages long.

    Or you can watch the coverage of KGO News and see Umberg interviewed

    To see what is happening in other states, go the National Popular Vote site. There, you will see that in other states this measure has bipartisan support. In some states, such as New York, it has been introduced by Republican legislators.

    Despite some alarmist statements made by some Republican Assemblymembers, this measure is provided for in the US Constitution, which specifically allows for interstate compacts and also gives the states plenary power to award their electoral votes as they wish. Two states, Nebraska and Maine, allot their votes by Congressional Districts. There is no reason we cannot allot ours to the winner of the national vote.

    Now it’s up to the Senate and the Governor. Let’s make history and make this happen.


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