"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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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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    Providence Journal
    Presidents by national popular vote
    by Katherine Gregg
    Journal State House Bureau
    May 28, 2008

    Legislation approved by the Senate yesterday would make Rhode Island one of a handful of states pledging its presidential delegates to whoever wins the national popular vote.

    The bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Connors, D–Cumberland, would allow Rhode Island to join a national compact of states that commit their electoral delegates to the national popular vote winner, regardless of who actually carried the state.

    The measure would only kick in if states representing a majority of the nation's 538 electoral votes decided to make the same change.

    Passage of the bill would make Rhode Island the fifth, alongside Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Maryland. (On May 1, both Houses of the Hawaii Legislature overrode their governor's veto of the National Popular Vote bill and enacted the bill into law.)

    The proposal is aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2000 election, when Al Gore got the most votes nationwide but George W. Bush put together enough victories in key states to win a majority in the Electoral College and capture the White House.

    Among the arguments being raised in state after another by National Popular Vote Inc., the coalition pushing the drive, is that: "Everyone who remembers 2000 knows that it can lead to the election of the candidate who loses the popular vote as president." It is also "an anti-democratic relic" that "focuses presidential elections on just a handful of battleground states, and pushes the rest of the nation's voters to the sidelines."

    But the bill produced a rare — though brief — debate before the Senate approved it on a 27-to-10 vote. It now goes to the House.

    Doing the math, Senators James Sheehan, D–North Kingstown, and Leo Blais, R-Coventry, said each of little Rhode Island's four electoral votes count for something now — approximately one out of every 134 votes cast — but they would be severely diluted by a population-based method for choosing presidents in which Rhode Islanders' voices would barely be heard.


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