"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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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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    Connecticut Post
    Electoral College debate heats up
    By Ken Dixon
    April 19, 2009

    HARTFORD — Connecticut would join a growing number of states pushing to change the way U.S. presidents are selected, under a bill that is heading for debate in the state House of Representatives.

    It's an attempt to essentially bypass the Electoral College and elect presidents by using the popular vote. Supporters say it would give voters more power.

    Under the proposal, Connecticut's electoral votes would go to the candidate that wins the nationwide popular vote. If states holding 270 electoral votes enact similar legislation, the winner of the nationwide popular vote would become president.

    Speaker of the House Christopher G. Donovan said last week that he anticipates the legislation will be voted upon within the next few weeks and Rep. Thomas J. Drew, D–Fairfield, the bill's chief proponent, said last week there are enough votes for it to pass.

    "There's a lot of support for it," said Donovan, D–Meriden. "It's certainly been a topic of national news. I believe there will be a lot of support in the caucus."

    "When I first heard about the idea I was immediately enthusiastic about it," Drew said in an interview. "The electoral college system now, we've reached a point where it is exceedingly problematic."

    Back in 2000, Al Gore defeated George W. Bush in the popular vote, but the Electoral College vote won Bush his first term. Four years later, Bush narrowly won in the Electoral College, even though he won the popular vote by 3.5 million.

    The popular vote has been lost four times by candidates who won in the Electoral College and became president.

    "If this were to become law, in future elections every time candidates speak they'd be trying to persuade every voter in the country of their vision," Drew said. "They'd be reaching out for every single American and their platform would have to speak. Frankly, the Electoral College has distorted the policy over the decades."

    The 538 Electoral College members are chosen in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The number of electors each state gets is determined by the number of U.S. House and Senate members in that state. For instance, Connecticut has five members of Congress and two U.S. senators, for a total of seven electoral votes.

    Presidential candidates need at least 270 votes to gain election. Formal Electoral College balloting occurs weeks after the presidential election. In Connecticut, electors gather in the state Senate chamber and sign formal documents that are then mailed to Washington certifying the vote.

    Drew and other supporters of the popular vote point out that presidential candidates currently focus on a few states, such as California, Ohio, Michigan and Florida that have disproportionate power.

    So far, only Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Maryland have approved the measure, but it's up before every state but one this year, said Chris Pearson, an organizer for the National Popular Vote. Pearson said it's past time for the states to work together to get enough support for it, because Congress has shot down hundreds of attempts to change the Constitution.

    "Every change to our election process, whether it was initially letting people vote through property requirements, then eventually allowing blacks, women and 18–year–olds, happened through state action," Pearson said in a phone interview last week.

    Pearson, who has been with the nonprofit organization for three years, said the proposal has passed several legislative chambers so far this year.

    "It's a genuine 50–state discussion," Pearson said. "We hope we can achieve the 270 mark in time for 2012."

    Last week, Washington's House voted in favor of the bill, sending it to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who has said he would support it and join his state's 11 electoral votes with the other 50 votes already committed in the four states that have passed it.

    Advocates of the bill say that under the current system, leading candidates focus on so–called battleground states.

    Sen. Gayle S. Slossberg, D–Milford, co–chairwoman of the legislative Government Administration & Elections Committee, said last week that she voted for the National Popular Vote in committee.

    "I think there are some really good concepts in this bill," she said. "Many people were frustrated after the 2000 election, when the popularly elected candidate did not become president."

    Slossberg said that, although she has reservations about the bill, she's still not sure how she'll vote if the legislation reaches the Senate.

    "We have gotten very accustomed to the concept of one person, one vote," she said. "My preference would be for Congress to abolish the Electoral College, but in the absence of that, this bill would keep the conversation going."

    She said that the danger for Connecticut voters would be the case where the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide isn't the person who wins the popular vote in Connecticut. "That would basically say to the people that your vote didn't really count," she said. "If Connecticut voted for Obama and McCain had won [the nationwide popular vote], it would hit home when our electoral votes were cast for McCain."

    Chris Healy, chairman of the Republican State Central Committee, said last week that if it becomes law in Connecticut, a little state's voice will be heard even less.

    "If this passes, they might as well not vote in federal elections because their votes won't count," Healy said in a phone interview.

    "One of the things the founders understood is that the rights of small states had to be respected like large states," he said. "There's a certain level of genius in that and, by and large, that's worked well and has served as the majority's opinion."

    He said that abrogating the power of the Electoral College would mean more clout for large states dominated by one party, such as Democrats in California.

    "President Bush isn't president now, so let's move on," Healy said glibly.

    "People who want to play around with what makes our country fair should really find something else to do with their time," Healy said. "No one has explained how it makes a vote in any state more representative than it is now. It's a contrived issue in which there's no solution needed."


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