"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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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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    San Jose Mercury-News
    Proposal to skirt Electoral College heads to governor: Bill Would Secure Popular Vote
    By Steve Lawrence
    The Associated Press
    May 15, 2007

    SACRAMENTO - For the second time in nine months, the state Senate has approved legislation that attempts to circumvent the Electoral College.

    But the bill approved Monday could be headed for another veto by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    The measure, by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, would ratify an interstate compact under which states would agree to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the preferences of their own voters.

    The compact would take effect only if enough states - those with a majority of votes in the Electoral College - agreed to its terms.

    Maryland became the first state to ratify the compact when its governor, Democrat Martin O'Malley, signed legislation approving the change last month. Action on the compact also is pending in a number of other states.

    The Senate approved Migden's bill on a 22-14 vote and sent it to the Assembly. Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Aaron McLear, said the Republican governor had not taken a position on it.

    FIRST TRY FAILED

    Schwarzenegger vetoed an identical measure last year, saying it could result in the state's electoral votes going to a candidate opposed by a majority of California voters.

    "This is counter to the tradition of our great nation, which honors states rights and the unique pride and identity of each state," he said in his veto message.

    Supporters see the proposal as a way to avoid the situation that occurred in 2000 and three other times in American history, when the winner of the presidency did not win the popular vote.

    "I'm a believer in democracy and a strong believer in the fact that whichever presidential candidate receives the majority of votes ought to be president," said Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena. "Unfortunately, four times in American history, that's not the case."

    Use of the Electoral College turns presidential campaigns into races that focus on only a handful of closely contested states. That typically allows candidates to ignore states such as California that are widely seen as favoring one candidate or the other, Scott said.

    That would change if candidates were fighting nationally for popular votes instead of focusing on the outcome in the Electoral College. But lightly populated states would block an attempt to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College because they have an advantage under that system, Scott added.

    BREAKING DOWN VOTES

    States are awarded electoral votes based on the size of their congressional delegations. California has the most - 55. But no state has fewer than 3 electoral votes.

    That means Wyoming, for example, with a population of about 509,000, has one electoral vote for every 169,764 people. California, with more than 37 million residents, has one electoral vote for every 672,727 Californians, according to a Senate analysis of Migden's bill.

    "I suggest that someone who casts a vote in San Francisco or Los Angeles ought to have the same power as somebody who casts a vote in rural Iowa," Scott said.

    But Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, said enacting the bill would run "a very serious risk of disenfranchising our voters."

    Californians might strongly prefer one presidential candidate, only to see their electoral votes go to his or her opponent, he said.

    He also said the compact would give too much clout to voters in major urban areas and contended that the interstate compact the bill would authorize would be unconstitutional unless it was approved by Congress.

    Migden said a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision authorized the interstate compact proposed by her legislation.


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