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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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    Colorado Lawmakers Try to Bypass Electoral College
    Associated Press Writer
    January 22, 2007

    DENVER -- Colorado lawmakers took the first step Wednesday toward joining a movement to bypass the Electoral College and award the presidency to the winner of the nationwide popular vote.

    A state Senate panel tentatively approved a measure that would set up an agreement with other states in presidential election years to give all of the state's nine electoral votes to the nationwide winner of the popular vote. The law would take effect only if enough states joined in to make it work.

    Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, said Colorado has been largely ignored by presidential candidates because it has only nine electoral votes. He said candidates spend three-quarters of their time and money in larger states with more electoral votes.

    The Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee approved the measure (Senate Bill 46) on a 3-2 party line vote and sent it to the full Senate for debate.

    Backers said the movement is aimed at preventing a repeat of 2000, when Democrat Al Gore lost despite getting more votes than George W. Bush.

    Gordon said Colorado could be the first state to ratify such a sweeping proposal to change the system.

    John Koza, a Stanford University professor who is promoting the plan, said lawmakers in 47 states have agreed to consider it this year. It was introduced last year in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New York and California, but none of the states enacted it.

    Gordon said if Coloradans can elect a governor by popular vote, they should be able to elect a president by popular vote.

    In presidential elections, the voters do not cast ballots directly for a candidate but for slates of electors who in turn elect the president. The system was created by the founding fathers out of a fear of mob rule.

    Each state has one elector for every member it has in the House and Senate, a formula that gives small states a somewhat larger vote than population alone would allow.

    In most cases, electors are expected to cast their ballots for the candidate who wins the popular vote in their state.

    Other attempts to change the Electoral College system have failed, most of them aimed at amending the Constitution, a drawn-out process that requires approval by Congress and ratification by at least 38 states.

    If the compact had been in force in 2000, Colorado's eight electors would have had to support Gore, even though Bush carried the state with 51 percent, compared to 42 percent for Gore, because Gore won the popular vote nationwide.

    Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, opposed the plan, saying states, not individuals, should elect the president.

    "We need to be the ones to elect the president," Schultheis said.

    Secretary of State Mike Coffman also opposed the plan, saying voters sent a strong message in 2004 that they don't want to change the way they select a president and rejected Amendment 36, which would have allocated presidential electors in Colorado by popular vote.

    "In my judgment, it would be inappropriate for the Legislature to supersede that clear message from voters by passing Senate Bill 46," Coffman said.

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