"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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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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    GoLocalProv News
    Electoral College Reform: Will Rhode Island Support National Popular Vote?
    By Dan McGowan
    May 28, 2011

    Legislation that would alter the Electoral College system as Rhode Island knows it will be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

    The bill, sponsored by Warwick Democratic Sen. Erin Lynch, supports what is known as the National Popular Vote bill. The plan would commit a majority of the Electoral College to the presidential candidate that wins the popular vote in all 50 states.

    The idea is that a person's individual vote would truly count when it comes to voting for the presidency. It would also guarantee that a president could not be elected without winning the popular vote. Lynch said she is taking up the cause originally proposed in Rhode Island by former Senate Majority Leader Daniel Connors.

    Rhode Island Deserves A Voice

    "The concept is that every vote counts," Sen. Lynch said Friday. "It's important for Rhode Island to have a voice and this would do that."

    Lynch said she believes presidential candidates would be more likely to visit the state if they knew that they had to win the popular vote. She said "nobody ever comes here" because Rhode Island traditionally votes heavily in favor of Democrats. In fact, the state's four Electoral College votes have only gone to a Republican four times since 1928.

    Governor Carcieri Vetoed Past Legislation

    Rhode Island would become the ninth state to support the National Popular Vote. When polled, nearly three-quarters of Rhode Islanders have been in favor of it. In New England, Vermont and Massachusetts have enacted law to participate in what is known as an interstate compact that would support the popular vote.

    Lynch's bill actually passed in both General Assembly chambers in 2008, and made it out of Senate Judiciary with Connors in 2009, but former Governor Donald Carcieri used his right to veto. At the time, Carceri claimed "no serious effort" had been made to amend the constitution and create the National Popular Vote.

    While current Governor Lincoln Chafee has not come out in favor of Lynch's legislation, he has voiced his support for the National Popular Vote in the past. It is believed he would sign the bill should both chambers support it.

    Every Vote Counts

    The odds of a candidate winning the presidency without winning the popular vote are quite low. Only four presidents have done so, the most recent being George W. Bush in 2000. Prior to Bush, Grover Cleveland (1888), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), and John Quincy Adams (1824) were the only presidents elected without being supported by the majority of voters.

    But you just never know, according to Lynch, who said her personal experience is one of the reasons she is pushing for the bill.

    "I won my first election by 11 votes," Lynch said. "Then I won by nine votes and then I won by 10 votes. Every vote counts. Do I think it will ever be so close that Rhode Island will decide everything? No. But you just never know."


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