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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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    The Olympian
    State joins Electoral College pact
    Elections: Law backs winner of popular vote
    By Brad Shannon
    April 29, 2009

    Washington voters favored Al Gore for president in 2000, and so did a majority of U.S. voters. Yet George W. Bush was sworn in as president because he won the Electoral College vote.

    It was the fourth time in history that an elected president didn't win the popular vote.

    Under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Washington will pledge its 11 Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote. Washington joins a small but growing compact of states including Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey that allocate their votes that way.

    The chairman of the nonprofit group National Popular Vote, John Koza, who wrote a book titled "Every Vote Equal," was at the Capitol to witness the signing. The law means 61 electoral votes nationwide now will go to the popular-vote winner, almost one-quarter of the way to 270 electoral votes, the majority needed to activate the compact.

    "It is a big deal. It shows momentum. It shows support. It's a clean government state," Koza said of Washington, the first state in the West to join the compact. "We hope to get this in time for the 2012 election. We have bill sponsors now in all 50 states."

    Many Republicans in the state Legislature opposed the bill, including Rep. Bruce Chandler of Granger, who complained that the 50 states and District of Columbia offer choices of candidates and have different rules for who can vote and when voters can register. So votes are not all equal in a popular-vote system.

    Secretary of State Sam Reed also dislikes the compact idea. He did not ask Gregoire to veto Senate Bill 5599, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Joe McDermott of West Seattle, because Reed is skeptical that it ever will take effect, spokesman David Ammons said.

    Rob Richie, a former Olympia resident who helped launch the popular-vote campaign as the leader of Maryland-based FairVote, said it's a matter of fairness. Unlike past efforts to change the Electoral College system, this effort doesn't require amending the U.S. Constitution.

    "Washington state's action in advancing the National Popular Vote plan is just the latest indication of the power of this straightforward proposal to give all Americans an equal vote for president and an equal opportunity to hold the White House accountable," Richie said in an e-mail.

    Twenty-seven legislative chambers have adopted the concept nationally, including the Michigan House late last year and the Oregon House this month.

    David John Anderson, a Shaw Island resident who managed the initiative campaign that created the state's "top two" primary, asked Gregoire to veto the bill. He also crafted a veto stamp to give to the governor.

    "They shouldn't be doing this in a crisis session. This hasn't been thought out. No one has looked at the population growth rates of other states," Anderson said. "Of the 10 fastest-growing states, eight are red states. Washington is going to lose in this thing."

    Reed has argued that the Electoral College helps draw presidential candidates to smaller states such as Washington to talk about local issues, because candidates need the state's electoral votes.

    But Richie, a co-author of Koza's book, said the argument that the Electoral College helps send candidates to smaller states is weak. A recent study by FairVote showed that states such as Washington are becoming less like electoral battlegrounds, and presidential campaigns typically skip them as a result.

    Washington tied with 24 other states for the least attention paid by national candidates in 2008, including few campaign ads, and it was one of 32 states that received no peak-season visits by the candidates, FairVote's study showed.

    Voter Richard E. Johnson Jr., a self-styled independent voter from Lacey, testified in favor of the compact in the Legislature.

    "Whoopee!" Johnson said in an e-mail to The Olympian. "We in Washington state finally have the potential — when other states join the pact and we gain 'critical mass' — to have our individual votes count for the presidential candidate of our choice. The concept of choosing delegates to the Electoral College by the 'winning' political party has been outmoded since the extensive use of the telegraph after the Civil War."

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