"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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    A Conservative Case for National Popular Vote: Why I support a state-based plan to reform the Electoral College
    By Richard Bolen, Esq.
    Summer 2010

    Opponents of National Popular Vote, who claim a Constitutional Amendment would be a more germane route to reforming the way we elect the President, misunderstand the purpose of the Electoral College and the important principal of federalism it represents. The National Popular Vote compact preserves the Electoral College and offers states an alternative method of awarding Electors - a basic state right specifically enshrined by our Founders in Article II of the United States Constitution.

    Article II clearly states, "Each State shall appoint, in such a Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors..."

    On this point, the Founders are clear. Each state is obliged to award Electors in a manner that yields maximum influence or best serves the interests of their state. Nowhere did they mention the current winner-take-all system, nor did they envision a system that marginalizes two-thirds of the states to "fly-over" status when selecting the President.

    National Popular Vote is an agreement among the states. States enter the compact and withdraw through a simple process using their usual legislative process for passing any law. National Popular Vote preserves the Electoral College and the states' sovereign right to award Electors. It is Constitutional and, in this Federalist's view, an appropriate exercise of a state's right to maximize influence.

    It is hard to imagine a region of the country more marginalized by winner-take-all rules than the great American South. We are politically homogenous in our conservative values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As such, we are reliably "red" when voting for President.

    Our political homogeny generally results in "fly-over" status, as Republican and Democrat candidates focus on the more competitive battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and a handful of others.

    By awarding a majority of Electors to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all fifty states, National Popular Vote will make a vote in South Carolina as valuable as a vote in Ohio. The end result will make my vote in reliably red South Carolina (under the current winner-take-all rules) more influential (under National Popular Vote).

    Fully understanding the National Popular Vote, a state-based plan for reforming the Electoral College, requires a willingness to do my homework, consider objections and be open to facts. For example:

    Objection: Won't big cities like Philadelphia and New York dominate Presidential elections if we move to a National Popular Vote?

    Response: There are not enough votes in the big cities to even guarantee a Governor's race in my home state. Republican Governors are routinely elected in South Carolina without carrying Charleston, Columbia or Greenville — our three largest cities.

    Objection: Won't small states be ignored if we eliminate winner-take-all rules and adopt the National Popular Vote?

    Response: No, because even in states that are reliably red or blue a bigger margin of victory or smaller margin of defeat can offset losses in other states. Candidates will work hard in states they will definitely win so they can get out more of their supporters to influence the total number of votes cast for them nationally. In fact, in strongly supportive states, candidates can get a better return for their campaign investment.

    Objection: Won't National Popular Vote lead to a proliferation of third party movements and candidates, where as the current winner-take-all rule protects the two major parties?

    Response: There is no reason to anticipate an increase in third party challenges and it may even discourage them since it will be harder to affect the outcome of the election. Either way, aggregating the national vote will allow a candidate to offset losses from a state where he is challenged by a third party candidate drawing from his base.

    Obviously there will be many concerns to address as people evaluate this proposal as I have. What started as a knee-jerk reaction to oppose National Popular Vote as an end-run around the Constitution has become full-throated support. I believe this compact offers South Carolina an opportunity to be more relevant in Presidential elections.

    Before taking a position, I urge you to closely evaluate National Popular Vote. Fully consider how it is designed and if it is in the best interest of your state. If you live in one of the "fly-over" states, National Popular Vote will offer meaningful benefits to you as a voter in the Presidential election.

    Rich Bolen is a Constitutional scholar, attorney at law, and Republican Party Chairman for Lexington County, South Carolina. He is an active member of the Federalist Society.


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