"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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    Advisory Board
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    Birch Bayh (D–IN)
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    Tom Campbell (R–CA)
    Tom Downey (D–NY)
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    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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    Chicago Tribune
    Turning election into popularity race
    Movement seeks to skirt Electoral College, ensure presidency goes to candidate with most votes nationwide
    By Stevenson Swanson
    July 21, 2008

    NEW YORK — A measure that would push the Electoral College to the fringes of American politics has been an unlikely beneficiary of this year's protracted presidential primaries.

    Buoyed by a long presidential primary season that focused attention on states that usually are overlooked in the calculus of winning a nomination, states as far-flung asMassachusetts and Hawaii have passed or are considering legislation that would guarantee that the candidate who got the most votes nationwide would win the White House.

    That would have the effect, advocates say, of creating a truly national presidential election campaign.

    Four states, including Illinois, have agreed to cast their electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote, and similar bills have been introduced in 43 other states. In Massachusetts, the Senate is to debate the measure after it recently received overwhelming support in the House of Representatives.

    If lessons from high school civics classes on how the Electoral College operates had dimmed, the 2000 election brought them back to life as Al Gore won the national popular vote but lost the presidency to George W. Bush in the Electoral College after the Supreme Court settled the dispute over Florida's vote count. That's because almost every state casts its electoral votes based on the winner of the popular vote in that state.

    Most votes wins

    "Explain to me how the principle that applies in every other election in this country—you get the most votes, you win—doesn't apply to the most important election we have, the presidential election," said Barry Fadem, president of National Popular Vote, the California-based non-profit group lobbying for the new approach to allocating electoral votes.

    The U.S. Constitution provides that states can choose how they allocate electors. Under the group's plan, the new method of casting electoral votes would take effect when states with a combined 270 electoral votes—the number necessary to elect a president—join the national popular-vote compact.

    In addition to Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Hawaii have approved the measure. The four states have a total of 50 electoral votes.

    A national poll by The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University found support from 73 percent of Democrats and independents and 60 percent of Republicans.

    Last month, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said the nation should "abolish this archaic way we elect presidents," preferably by amending the Constitution, but he also said he supports the national popular vote initiative.

    Not everyone agrees.

    "The election of the president should be based on the decisions of each state,"Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican, said in vetoing a bill that would have added his state to the national popular vote compact.

    National Popular Vote was founded by Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Koza. The group says the measure should have bipartisan support, pointing to the near-miss of the 2004 election. Bush was re-elected when he won the popular vote by more than 3 million ballots. But a switch of only 60,000 votes in Ohio would have swung that battleground state to John Kerry, who would have won in the Electoral College.

    And Republicans have supported it, including Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), a co-sponsor of the Illinois bill, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed in April.

    Apart from partisan politics, the Electoral College has supporters. Walter Berns, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, notes that the current system helps small states keep some clout on the national scene.

    "Why should Nevada give up its votes to California?" said Berns, pointing to the proposal to build a radioactive waste storage site at Yucca Mountain, which is widely opposed in Nevada. "That's a state interest that's not likely to survive in the case of a national popular vote. If you ask me where that stuff should go, I'm likely to say, What better place than in the desert?"

    States ignored

    Fadem counters that under the current system, in which candidates concentrate on a handful of swing states, small states are already ignored.

    "If people live in a non-battleground state, they know their vote doesn't count," said Fadem, whose group hopes to have enough states on board to use the new approach in the 2012 election. "Here's one thing that will not happen in 2012, and that is that the presidential candidates will not write off three-quarters of the states."

    Still, even some opponents of the Electoral College are skeptical. Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, favors amending the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. Supporters of the National Popular Vote campaign say is that's too difficult because an it requires approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of the states.

    "If you had a constitutional amendment that said there was a national popular vote, that would be legitimate," Loomis said . "I'm not a fan of the Electoral College, but I do think it has delivered legitimate presidents in most elections."

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