"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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    Fayetteville Observer
    Exciting vote leads to talk about how NC picks a president
    The Associated Press
    May 18, 2008

    RALEIGH, N.C. — When Barack Obama soundly beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in North Carolina's Democratic presidential primary two weeks ago, the race for the White House shifted. The win became the long-sought "game-changer" that placed Obama on the verge of clinching the party's nomination.

    There are plenty of Tar Heels wondering why the nation's 10th largest state can't play such an influential role every four years.

    "We would have had the spotlight on both the Republican and Democratic side," said Sen. Andrew Brock, R–Davie, who tried last year to move both parties' presidential primaries from May to February. "We see that people are really energized about politics now and I think that's a great thing."

    The campaign between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama led to a record voter turnout for a primary and helped boost total voter registration by 200,000 from the beginning of the year. The two candidates and their surrogates crisscrossed the state for at least three weeks leading to the May 6 vote.

    Expect that enthusiasm to lead to plenty of discussion about tweaking the state's way of expressing its preference for president. But don't count out all that's standing in the way of moving the primary date or changing how North Carolina distributes its electoral votes _ namely money, outside pressure and Democratic hopes to win the state in November for the first time in 32 years.

    Sen. Martin Nesbitt is chairman of a state judiciary committee that shot down Brock's bill last year, in part because it would cost $5 million to administer a second primary just for the White House hopefuls. He doesn't expect any movement on the bill in the legislative session that began this past week.

    "We had no way of anticipating what would go on this year," said Nesbitt, D–Buncombe. "North Carolina played a big role this time, but so did a whole lot of other states."

    Barry Fadem has a hopes for a free-of-charge change that has the potential to have a much wider impact than moving the primary to February. His group _ National Popular Vote _ wants lawmakers to change how state awards its 15 electoral votes in November.

    Fadem's proposal calls for North Carolina enter a multistate compact and promise to award all 15 votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide. All but two states currently award all of their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the popular vote in the state.

    The compact would take effect once enough states representing a majority of the nation's 538 electoral votes agreed, ensuring the leading popular vote-getter would enter the White House. Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii _ with a combined 50 electoral votes _ already have signed on.

    Had the compact been in place in 2000, Al Gore would have won the White House instead of President Bush.

    "The American tradition that 'you get the most votes, you are the winner' doesn't apply to the most important election in the world," Fadem said.

    Fadem said general election candidates largely ignore states where there's little chance to change the outcome. The compact, Fadem said, would make every vote count equally and encourage candidates to campaign across the country. Fadem said he expects that would bring party nominees regularly to North Carolina's largest cities.

    The Senate approved the measure last year in a vote that fell along party lines, with Republicans opposed in part because it could force the state to award electoral votes to a candidate who didn't get the most votes in the state. House leaders don't know what they'll do with the compact idea, which would start in 2012 if enough states agree.

    "I'm reserving judgment until we thoroughly debate the issue," said Rep. Melanie Goodwin, D–Richmond, chairwoman of the election law committee. "Anything that would give our voters a greater say in the national elections would be positive in my opinion."

    If recent history is any guide, the bill will pass based on what makes the best politics for the Democrats, who hold the majority in the Legislature.

    Last year, the Legislature was also on the cusp of sending to Gov. Mike Easley a bill that would have replaced the winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes with a more proportional method.

    The bill passed the Senate and was approved once on the House floor. But it was pulled before a final vote, after Democratic leaders in Washington raised concerns. With Republican fortunes falling in 2007, they foresaw an opening _ months before Obama's resounding primary victory _ that Democrats could compete for all the state's electoral votes for the first time 1976.

    "The way a bill passes around here ... it was just going on because nobody said, 'Hey, wait a minute,'" said House Speaker Joe Hackney, D–Orange. "And somebody did say, 'Hey, wait a minute.'"

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