"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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Endorsed by 2,110
State Legislators
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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    Advisory Board
    John Anderson (R-I–IL)
    Birch Bayh (D–IN)
    John Buchanan (R–AL)
    Tom Campbell (R–CA)
    Tom Downey (D–NY)
    D. Durenberger (R–MN)
    Jake Garn (R–UT)
    What Do You Think
    How should we elect the President?
    The candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states.
    The current Electoral College system.

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    Boston Globe
    Flunking out of the Electoral College
    Boston Globe column
    By Scot Lehigh
    June 2, 2010

    TODAY, THE Massachusetts House can do its part to nudge the United States out of the 18th century, where the country still lingers when it comes to its most pivotal political decision.

    Our presidential elections, after all, are governed by the Electoral College, a creaky contrivance from an era when democracy was such an untested experiment that the founders felt filters had to be interposed between the will of the people and the way of the government.

    As a result, what we have is not a true national election for president, but a series of state-by-state contests. In almost every case, the candidate who wins a state, even by one vote, collects all its electoral votes.

    That anachronistic arrangement occasionally results in a decidedly undemocratic conclusion: A candidate who becomes president despite placing second in the popular vote, something that has happened four times in 56 elections.

    And though the probability tends to be seen as remote, in an era of close elections, the risk is always present.

    After all, in 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular tally to Al Gore by more than half a million votes, but still prevailed in the Electoral College. It could have happened again in 2004; if 59,301 voters had gone the other way in Ohio, John Kerry would have become president, despite a popular vote edge for Bush that still would have been about three million.

    A second, and regular, problem with the Electoral College is that it reduces the campaign to an exercise in swing-state hopscotch, one that sees the candidates focus on a dozen or so battleground states while effectively ignoring most of the rest of the country.

    Reliably Democratic states like California and New York and reliably Republican states like Texas and South Carolina are treated as little more than fund-raising pit stops in the presidential race. Millions of voters become distant observers of a campaign that never touches down in their states.

    But an ingenious reform known as the National Popular Vote initiative would change that — and without the long and arduous task of amending the US Constitution. By passing legislation, states would join an interstate compact committing themselves to awarding their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. When enough join so that the total electoral votes of committed states numbers at least 270, the amount required to win the presidency, the new system would go into effect.

    We’d then have a real national campaign. Think of it: The contest would no longer turn on who wins in Ohio or a handful of other closely divided states. Instead, winning an additional vote in Massachusetts or Utah or Rhode Island or Mississippi would matter just as much as tallying another in a swing state.

    One oft-cited argument against the plan is that a change like this should only be made by amending the Constitution. But in fact, the Constitution itself makes it quite clear that an amendment really isn’t required. What’s more, should unanticipated problems occur, under this plan, the country could easily revert to the old arrangement. (Most other objections to the proposal are well countered on the National Popular Vote website.)

    Now, the sensible scheme still has a long way to go. So far, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, and Hawaii have all passed laws pledging to participate, once enough others sign on. (The bill has passed one legislative branch in at least a dozen more states.)

    Those five states have a total of 61 electoral votes, which means the National Popular Vote is just about a quarter of the way there. Massachusetts, with its 12 electoral votes, would be an important momentum-building addition to that tally. But though the measure passed both branches of the Legislature in 2008, in failed to make it all the way through the process.

    This year, the Legislature should put Massachusetts firmly in the column of those states favoring reform. It’s long past time we left the Electoral College — and the 18th century — behind.


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