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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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    San Diego Union-Tribune
    California lawmakers approve change to electoral votes
    By Don Thompson
    Associated Press
    July 14, 2011

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill Thursday designed to make California more relevant in presidential politics by giving the state's electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

    The bill would take effect only if Brown signs it and if it's approved by states with a total of 270 electoral votes — the minimum number needed to elect a president.

    Currently, most states, including California, have winner-take-all arrangements in which all of the electoral votes go to the candidate who wins the majority of votes in that state.

    The California bill, AB459, would commit a majority of electors to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide. The proposed change is intended to guarantee that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president.

    It was approved by the state Senate on a 23–15 vote Thursday, with all but one Democrat voting for it and Republicans opposed. The Assembly concurred on minor amendments with a 50–5 vote moments later, with 25 members not voting, as lawmakers rushed to complete their work before a monthlong summer recess.

    "AB459 will assure that the presidential candidates actually come to California to campaign and discuss and address California's unique issues," said Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D–Concord, who carried the bill in the Senate. "459 will give a voice to all California voters and assure that their votes will matter in every presidential election."

    The effort gained momentum after Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but Republican George W. Bush won the electoral vote.

    In the past 56 elections, four presidents have won a majority of the electoral vote without carrying the popular vote, said Barry Fadem, president of National Popular Vote, a nonprofit being funded by electoral college hobbyists and citizens.

    In 2004, Democrat John Kerry could have taken Ohio with 60,000 more votes, which would have given him the presidency. Instead, Bush won by 3 million popular votes.

    "This cuts both ways," Fadem said.

    Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R–Willows, warned states to move carefully.

    "I think this is dangerous. It flies in the face of 220 years of election law," he said during the debate. "We have an electoral college; it was put there for a reason."

    Seven states with a combined 77 electoral votes have approved the move so far. California has 55 electoral votes.

    Supporters say it would make candidates campaign in California, instead of just coming to the state to raise money.

    "California should not be ignored in presidential elections," the bill's author, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D–San Mateo, said in a statement.

    The current political dynamics forced candidates in 2008 to concentrate virtually all their time and efforts on 16 battleground states, Hill said.

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