"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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    The World (Coos Bay, Oregon)
    Oregon, states consider end run around system
    By Julia Silverman
    The Associated Press
    January 29, 2007

    SALEM — Population-wise, Oregon is far overshadowed by its neighbors to the north and south.

    But during recent presidential election years, candidates have tended to bypass staunchly blue California and Washington in favor of campaigning and advertising in the Beaver State.

    That's because Oregon is considered one of those magic handfuls of swing states whose electoral votes are up for grabs, a definite second-tier electoral target after voter-rich states like Pennsylvania, Ohio or Florida.

    But Oregon's status could change under a pending bill in the Legislature that would award the state's seven electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally, regardless of who wins the state. Similar legislation, which is being filed in more than 45 other legislatures around the country, won approval from the members of the Colorado state Senate this past week.

    The popular vote movement, coordinated by a California-based group, National Popular Vote, has been picking up steam nationally since the 2000 election came down to some hanging chads in Florida. The idea got another jolt when President Bush handily won the popular vote in 2004 — but could have been forced to yield to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, had 60,000 votes in Ohio swung the other way.

    "I think this is very promising," said House Majority Leader Dave Hunt, D–Gladstone, a key backer of the popular vote legislation in Oregon. "Clearly, the national electoral college is antiquated. I believe that whoever wins the popular vote should win, whether that is a school board or the U.S. presidency."

    Currently, it takes 270 electoral votes to be elected president. Each state has one elector for every member that it has in the U.S. House and Senate.

    Changing that system would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution — politically, a difficult mountain to climb. The legislation proposed by the National Popular Vote group, though, would bypass that by getting states to agree to give their electoral votes to the popular vote winner, regardless of their own state's leanings.

    Such an agreement would not take effect unless adopted by state legislatures representing a majority of electoral votes. California's Legislature passed it in 2006, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the plan. A spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Kulongoski said he'll wait to see what action the Oregon Legislature takes before making up his mind on the proposal.

    Oregon is on the group's list of key states for this year's legislatures, said Barry Fadem, a co-founder of National Popular Vote, who was in Salem this past week to tout the plan.

    Moving to such a system, Fadem said, means that "no presidential candidate will be able to write off any state. How many years has Utah, for example, run up a huge majority for the Republican candidate, all of which is totally wasted?"

    And after the elections, he said, it guarantees that issues like ocean policy in California, or hurricane preparations in Mississippi, will get as much federal attention as the future of the coal industry in Pennsylvania or ethanol subsidies in Iowa.

    Voter participation, he said, which is traditionally higher in closely contested states, could also increase all over the country.

    The idea has its fierce detractors, some of whom have argued that in a close national vote, chaotic recounts would be demanded in every state. Wayne Kinney, a Democratic National Committeeman who lives in Bend, said he fears that moving to such a system would mean relatively small states like Oregon would be overlooked.

    "Logic tells you, you go where the votes are," he said. "Look at how they campaign here in Oregon — they do a lot more in Portland than in Burns."

    Kinney's joined in his objections by Vance Day, chair of the Republican Party in Oregon, who said he'd be uncomfortable with an interstate compact bypassing the U.S. Constitution.

    "The constitution will prevail over their binding together — there will be litigation," Day, a lawyer, predicted.

    Legislation on the popular vote isn't the only elections-related matter lawmakers will consider during this year's session. The League of Women Voters is tracking a potential attempt at reforming Oregon's system of drawing legislative boundaries. Hunt said he's watching efforts to allow Oregonians to register to vote up until Election Day.

    And a bipartisan group of lawmakers is backing a constitutional amendment to do away with the state's "double majority" rules, which require 50 percent of voters to turn out for property tax measures backed by schools and local governments.

    But the debate over the popular vote is the one that would resonate most beyond the state's borders, Hunt said.

    "It will increase the likelihood that both presidential candidates would come to a medium-sized state like Oregon, because instead of just being in one column or the other, we would have 3.5 million people, and a lot of potential voters," Hunt said. "And anything that encourages the counting of every vote I think is a good thing."

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