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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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    Milford Daily News
    A popular idea? Lawmakers try again to change how votes are counted
    By David Riley
    May 8, 2009

    A proposal for Massachusetts to join an agreement with other states to elect the president by popular vote is back before state lawmakers.

    The National Popular Vote bill passed both the House and Senate last year by 3-1 margins, and the House took a second so-called enactment vote required to send the bill to the governor. But the legislative session ended before the Senate could take that additional vote, and the bill died.

    Proponents testified in favor of the proposal before the Legislature's joint Election Laws Committee on Wednesday. While some MetroWest lawmakers said they are now more focused on the state's budget crisis and efforts to reform the pension and transportation systems, many have signed on to co-sponsor the measure.

    "I expect we will take it up again," said state Rep. Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland, a co-sponsor. "It had a lot of support last time."

    Under the legislation, the state would cast its 12 Electoral College votes for the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote, rather than the candidate who carries the state.

    However, the measure would only go into effect when states with 270 combined electoral votes - the majority needed to elect a president - have adopted the same rules. Organizers of a national campaign for the legislation say Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington have signed it into law.

    The practical effect would ensure the candidate who wins the national popular vote carries the election, rather than the candidate with the most Electoral College votes.

    That means Al Gore would have won the 2000 election, when he outpaced George W. Bush in the popular vote.

    "I think the motivation for it, and getting people's attention really focused on the flaws in the system, was the 2000 election," said state Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, also a co-sponsor.

    The measure essentially sidesteps the thorny task of reforming the Electoral College itself, which would require amending the U.S. Constitution, because each state has the right to decide how to apportion its electoral votes.

    Proponents such as Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts, say the measure could draw states like Massachusetts - largely ignored by both parties in favor of harder-fought states - back into the presidential race because every vote would count.

    "We believe that every vote should count equally and the candidate with the most votes should win, just like any other election," Wilmot said. "With a more homegrown process, I think more people would get enthusiastic for the endeavor."

    Critics last year, however, questioned if the new system would still leave smaller, less populous areas on the sidelines.

    And not all of the region's lawmakers are on board with the idea.

    State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, said he has received form letters from constituents who favor the idea, but he wants to learn more about it.

    "I'm open-minded about it," he said. "I'm wrestling with the history of the Electoral College, and the pros and cons of that, and the popular vote."

    Brown said he leaned against voting for the bill last year in part because it avoids directly addressing the Electoral College system.

    Peisch said states already apportion their electoral votes differently, and adopting the legislation is consistent with the existing system.

    "It's perfectly in line with the Constitution," she said.

    State Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, said the proposal has merit. While he voted for it last year, he said he's focused on other matters now.

    "At this point in time I, and I'm sure most of my colleagues, are completely focused on the economic situation in the state and the effect of that on state government, local government and families in Massachusetts," Linsky said.

    Wilmot said while finances are rightly at the forefront for legislators, she believes the popular vote bill will gain traction this year.

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