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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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    Honolulu Advertiser
    Emergency-power veto stands
    Senate had the votes to override Lingle, but House opts to back off
    By Derrick DePledge and Treena Shapiro
    May 2, 2008

    State lawmakers yesterday failed to override Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of a bill that would have restricted her emergency powers.

    The state Senate had the two-thirds' votes necessary for the override, but state House leaders chose not to attempt an override after counting votes.

    "As this thing progressed and as people understood more and more the impact that it could have, there was nervousness in our caucus and they backed away from it," said state House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell, D-24th (Manoa). "We just didn't think we had the votes."

    The bill would have restricted the governor's power to declare an emergency in situations that did not involve natural or man-made disasters or enemy or terrorist attacks. It was motivated by Lingle's use of emergency declarations to respond to the homeless problem along the Leeward Coast.

    The Republican governor mentioned the bill this week when several lawmakers suggested she declare an emergency to respond to the shutdown of Aloha Airlines' cargo unit.

    "We really feel it's critical to be able to preserve those powers for any governor, including Gov. Lingle," said Linda Smith, the governor's senior policy adviser.

    In the Senate, state Sen. Rosalyn Baker, D-5th (W. Maui, S. Maui), said Lingle could have brought her homeless plans before the Legislature but used her emergency powers to circumvent oversight. She said the bill would not have curtailed Lingle's ability to deal with real emergency situations but would have guided her toward engaging the Legislature on her response to issues such as homelessness.

    "This measure does not tie the governor's hands in a way that would keep her from responding to real emergencies," Baker said.

    State Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings, R-25th (Kailua, Waimanalo, Hawai'i Kai), said Lingle had used her emergency powers to "try to protect the people who need our help in dire straits in the most expeditious manner possible."

    In the House, Republicans at first objected to any veto overrides, citing Lingle's popularity, then walked off the floor, leaving the votes to majority Democrats.

    "I don't want to participate in the petty partisanship of overriding the vetoes of Gov. Linda Lingle, the most popularly elected governor in state history," said state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, R-50th (Kailua, Kane'ohe Bay).

    One veto overturned

    The House and Senate did vote yesterday to override Lingle's veto of a bill that would allow Hawai'i to join a compact of states to elect the president by national popular vote instead of the Electoral College. With the vote, Hawai'i becomes the fourth state β€” after Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois β€” to agree to join the compact.

    Lingle and others have warned against joining the compact, because it would mean the state's four electoral votes would not go to the presidential candidate who won the most votes in the Islands, but to the candidate who won the national popular vote.

    "I believe whoever gets the most votes in an election should win. It's pretty simple," said state Rep. Roy Takumi, D-36th (Pearl City, Momilani, Pacific Palisades).

    Other representatives said that moving to a popular vote would make Hawai'i more relevant, but state Rep. Angus McKelvey, D-10th (Lahaina, Ka'anapali, Kapalua), rejected the arguments that Hawai'i would become a bigger player under the compact or that more attention and money would be directed at the state.

    The emphasis, he said, would still be on states with the largest populations and, therefore, the most votes.

    "We're still going to be at the tail end of the dog," McKelvey said.

    The House and Senate chose not to attempt overrides of a veto of a bill that would have allowed the Hawai'i Labor Relations Board to recognize union representation when a majority of workers sign union cards. Lingle had argued that the bill would have undermined workers' rights to secret-ballot elections.

    Reach Derrick DePledge at ddepledge@honoluluadvertiser.com and Treena Shapiro at tshapiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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