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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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    Journal Star
    Popular vote plan enters electoral debate
    By Don Walton
    January 18, 2011

    With a partisan battle brewing over allocation of Nebraska's electoral votes, the Legislature will be asked to consider whether a presidential election shouldn't really be determined by who wins the most votes.

    Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm will introduce a bill Wednesday that would award the state's five electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, if and when Nebraska is joined in a compact to do so by states possessing a majority of the nation's electoral votes.

    Six states already have enacted the legislation. Their electoral votes represent 27 percent of the majority of 270 required to elect the president.

    Two representatives of the National Popular Vote movement, armed with the credentials to counter Republican concerns about the proposal, were in Lincoln Tuesday to present their case to Gov. Dave Heineman and a number of state senators.

    Beyond the fundamental argument that the person who wins the most popular votes should win the election, they were prepared to contend that small Republican states such as Nebraska could emerge with more clout and attention under their plan.

    And the bill's approval this year would not preclude enactment of a Nebraska Republican Party effort to replace the current congressional district allotment of three of Nebraska's five electoral votes with a winner-take-all statewide system in 2012, said Laura Brod of New Prague, Minn.

    Formation of an operative compact of popular-vote states cannot realistically be triggered until the 2016 presidential election at the earliest, she said.

    Brod was a Republican member of the Minnesota House for eight years before deciding not to seek re-election this year.

    Joining her in Lincoln was Jack St. Martin of Las Vegas, a veteran Republican campaign staff operative who has been regional political director for the Republican National Committee and who directed National Republican Senatorial Committee activities in the 2010 Nevada Senate race.

    More than 70 percent of Nebraskans in a 2009 poll favored popular election of the president, Brod said.

    One of the strongest arguments for small states like Nebraska, whose electoral votes are considered to be wrapped up by one party and therefore not really in play, is that they no longer would be ignored, Brod and St. Martin argued.

    Republicans who are concerned by the popular vote plan might want to consider that "they leave a lot of votes on the table" when a GOP presidential candidate gains a small number of electoral votes in Nebraska while winning the state by a huge margin, Brod said.

    Now, both advocates said, general election campaign attention and money is lavished on about 15 battleground states.

    "That relegates the others to flyover status," Brod said. "And that means the candidates are not necessarily paying attention to the issues that are important to people in those states."

    This proposal, they said, preserves the Electoral College while recognizing the primacy of the popular vote.

    Reach Don Walton at 402-473-7248 or at dwalton@journalstar.com.


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