"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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    New Haven Register
    PEIRCE: It is time for states to cast ballot for 'National Popular Vote'​
    New Haven Register column
    By Neal Peirce
    Washington Post Writers Group
    January 14, 2012

    Newspapers, the airwaves and the blogosphere are already delivering 24/7 news and speculation focused on the 2012 presidential campaign.

    But in the end, will we get the president whom most Americans favor?

    Don't count on it. The hoary Electoral College system lets states cast their electoral votes any way their legislatures determine. A minor electoral switch in one state can reverse the entire national election. There's always a temptation to meddle.

    Take Pennsylvania. For five elections running, Democratic candidates have triumphed there in "winner-take-all" style, capturing all of the state's electoral votes.

    Great for Democrats.

    But the 2010 election gave Republicans control in Harrisburg. Gov. Tom Corbett endorsed a bill to split Pennsylvania's electoral votes by congressional district.

    The motive was transparent: to cut the number of Pennsylvania electoral votes that President Barack Obama could hope to win in the Keystone State.

    That effort now seems shelved, but it reflects a bipartisan habit: When we can pull it off, we try to re-jigger the election system to favor our side.

    A Supreme Court majority even did this in its infamous Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, stopping a recount that might have awarded the presidency to Al Gore, who actually led by more than 500,000 popular votes nationwide.

    The Big Cure would seem obvious: Institute a direct vote of the people, and scrap the Electoral College, a jerry-rigged, last-minute concoction of the 1787 Constitutional Convention.

    For 68 years — since 1944, when a Gallup poll first posed the question — overwhelming majorities of Americans have favored direct popular election of the president. But getting a constitutional amendment approved is so cumbersome, that all attention has now turned to an alternative approach.

    It's called the National Popular Vote initiative, and its method is ingenious: Use a compact among the states to deliver all their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes of citizens nationwide.

    The compact will go into effect when states with votes constituting a majority of the Electoral College formally approve it. The legality is clear: the Constitution gives state legislatures total power over casting electoral votes, plus the right to make interstate compacts.

    So far, the compact proposal has been approved by nine states that hold, cumulatively, 49 percent of the required 270 electoral votes.

    There's been a distinct Democratic cast to the group of states approving. Many Republican operatives, recalling the 2000 election, apparently feel the system somehow favors the Democrats.

    In fact, several states have reported significant Republican support for the National Popular Vote. Republicans voted 21–11 in favor, for example, when the New York Senate in June approved the proposed interstate compact.

    Republican supporters of a direct presidential vote have included, over the years, such stalwarts as Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, Everett McKinley Dirksen of Illinois and Fred Thompson of Tennessee.

    The reality is that a Republican could win the popular vote and lose the presidency just as easily as a Democrat. Each close election perpetuates a kind of insane electoral roulette that the National Popular Vote (nationalpopularvote.com) would resolve.

    Plus, a direct vote would end the Fly-Over Phenomenon. Candidates see little point in visiting, or paying much attention to the two-thirds of states rated "safe" for one party or the other (for example, Republican Texas, Democratic California).

    Following Labor Day in 2008, more than 98 percent of presidential campaign spending, plus all the candidates' campaign visits, went to just 15 battleground states (among them Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina) that represent barely one-third of the U.S. population.

    This means that special-interest causes, like ethanol in Iowa or Cuban-Americans in Florida, get inordinate attention. And we virtually invite voter apathy, nonparticipation, in most of our states.

    The favoritism would disappear in the first presidential election under the National Popular Vote. Its proposition is simple: Each American's vote ought to be inviolate — and have equal impact.

    Neal Peirce writes for the Washington Post Writers Group, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington 20071-9200. His email address is nrp@citistates.com.

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