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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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    Hickory Daily Record
    Popular vote issue lands in General Assembly
    By Andrew Mackie
    May 23, 2008

    RALEIGH — Legislators are split over a proposal in the General Assembly that would alter the way North Carolina assigns its electoral votes.

    California lawyer Barry Fadem has put forward a concept he says would ensure that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote would win the presidency.

    The 2000 election showed that doesn't always happen. Democrat Al Gore led Republican and current President George W. Bush in the popular vote, but lost in the Electoral College count.

    Fadem wants all 50 states to collectively agree to assign their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.

    Four states have already passed laws that would do that only if other states follow suit.

    "Everyone should like it for two reasons: One, it's about making the state relevant in the general election, and secondly, it's about making sure whoever gets the most votes wins," Fadem said.

    Fadem is president of National Popular Vote, a nonprofit group sponsoring the proposal.

    The group has hired a lobbyist with one of the state's top law firms, Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice, and enlisted Gary Pearce, one of the state's top Democratic political consultants, to champion the cause here.

    Opponents deride the idea as circumventing the Constitution. However, supporters emphasize the proposal is constitutional, since the Constitution allows states to assign electoral votes however they choose. Experts say a Constitutional amendment is the more difficult process to change the current system.

    North Carolina's bill is in the House committee on election laws. Committee Chairwoman Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, D–Richmond, isn't sure if the bill will come up for debate this session.

    Many Republicans are aligned against the move.

    "I'm going to fight it tooth and nail," said state Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, a Wake County Republican and House minority leader.

    N.C. Rep. Mark Hilton, R– Conover, a Republican who represents western Catawba County except for Hickory, is skeptical.

    "I think the current system has worked well," he said. "With all the stress that this country was under back in 2000 with that election, it still held. If we go in and start changing the process, we can do more harm than good."

    Hilton said Democrats aren't changing their presidential nomination system, although Hillary Clinton arguably has the popular vote lead.

    Hilton said the state Republican Party, along with the party's House and Senate leadership, oppose the proposal.

    Fellow Republican N.C. Sen. Austin Allran, R– Hickory, who represents Catawba County and parts of Iredell County, also disagrees with the idea.

    "The obvious motivation is to give more electoral votes to the Democratic presidential candidate than he or she would get under the present system," he said.

    Democrat N.C. Rep. Ray Warren, D– Hiddenite, whose district includes most of Hickory and Alexander County, wants more information before making a decision.

    "On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but I would like to read and know the details before I stated an opinion on it," he said.

    Despite the apparent partisan debate, Farem insists the proposal is nonpartisan.

    Media General reporter James Romoser contributed to this report.


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