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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 Baxter Bulletin
    Popular vote bill gets a reprieve
    (Mountain Home, Arkansas)
    March 21, 2007

    There's a movement afoot across America that hopes to see that the presidential candidate who gets the most popular votes is the one who's elected. As it stands with the Electoral College, a candidate can win a majority of popular votes, yet still lose the race.

    Rep. Monte Davenport, D-Yellville, wanted to get Arkansas on this bandwagon, saying his intention was to make elections fair under the "one person, one vote" concept. His proposal would award Arkansas' six Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who has the majority of votes from among all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    On Monday, fellow House members knocked his measure in the head on a 45-51 vote. Rep. Johnny Key, R-Mountain Home, voted against the proposal. But Tuesday, after explaining it a little better to his fellow legislators, Mr. Davenport got a second vote on the proposal, and it passed this time, 52-41. Mr. Key still voted against it. Rep. Curren Everett, D-Salem, voted for it both times.

    Gov. Mike Beebe has said he will sign the bill if it passes the Senate. It's now been referred to the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.

    Opponents were concerned Mr. Davenport's bill would reduce Arkansas' importance in presidential elections. They contended a popular vote would hurt Arkansas because candidates would spend more time in larger, more populous areas than in Arkansas.

    Rep. Dan Greenberg, R-Little Rock, who voted against the bill both times, said candidates would devote their time to New York and California, and "maybe they'll spend an hour in Little Rock, but as for Arkansas, that's it."

    Somebody please wake up Mr. Greenberg.

    When was the last time a presidential candidate stumped through Arkansas? Do you recall when, or if, a presidential candidate stopped at Jonesboro, Paragould, Fort Smith, even Fayetteville to campaign?

    As far as most presidential candidates have been concerned, Little Rock is Arkansas since it's usually the only place they do stop in the state. Plus, an hour — or two — generally is about the most time they spend in Little Rock whenever they do deem to grace the Natural State with their presence.

    According to National Popular Vote — a coalition of Republicans and Democrats trying to establish a means to guarantee the election of the presidential candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia — Mr. Greenberg could be mistaken on another point. New York, California and five other of the country's most populous states have become "spectator" states in presidential campaigns, not "battleground" states.

    So have a dozen of the least populous states (excluding New Hampshire, which with Iowa pretty much decides who the presidential candidates will be).

    Here's some of what we've learned about the National Popular Vote folks' effort.

    According to the organization, a shift of a handful of votes in one or two states in five of the last 12 presidential elections would have elected the second-place candidate. Remember 2000, when Al Gore edged George W. Bush in the popular vote, but lost the race? And in 2004 a swing in the votes in Ohio could have given John Kerry the Electoral College even though Mr. Bush had the popular vote.

    It was noted Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico, as "swing" states, became the focus of the last two presidential campaigns, heavily partisan states were taken for granted and the rest pretty much went ignored.

    According to National Popular Vote, presidential candidates devote two-thirds of their advertising money and campaign visits to five states and 99 percent of their advertising money in 16 states altogether.

    States can allocate their electoral votes, and National Popular Vote wants to have states adopt legislation that would award their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate with the most popular votes across the country. The group's proposed legislation would take effect only when enacted in identical form by states with a majority of the electoral votes, 270 of 538.

    Bills have been introduced in 35 states, including Arkansas. Ten others have legislation pending. Senates in Colorado and Hawaii have approved measures and forwarded them to their respective Houses of Representatives. A proposal in North Dakota was defeated. And Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation in California, although a new bill has been introduced in the California Senate.

    Could moving to a popular vote for president be detrimental to Arkansas? Considering how much our state means to presidential candidates now, probably not. It might get them to spend a little more time in the state, or at least in Little Rock.

    Even though there are only six Arkansas electoral votes, becoming part of the compact for a popular vote might benefit Arkansas somewhat, especially since presidential contenders couldn't overlook our state much more than they do now.

    (If you want to know more about National Popular Vote, you can visit its Web site at www.nationalpopularvote.com.)

    Let us know what you think by writing us at The Baxter Bulletin at P.O. Box 1750, Mountain Home, AR 72654, by sending an e-mail to , or by taking part in the forum at StoryChat at www.baxterbulletin.com.

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