"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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    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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    Los Angeles Times
    A president by popular vote:
    Some states are looking at ways to circumvent the electoral college and get closer to a system in which the presidency would be decided by a popular vote.
    Los Angeles Times Editorial
    October 5, 2011

    The last time the electoral college received much attention was in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote for president while being denied victory over George W. Bush because of a second-place finish in electoral votes. Reformers hoped that discrepancy would be the impetus for approval of a constitutional amendment establishing what many Americans believed already existed: a nationwide popular vote for president. But the moment passed.

    Now a legislator in Pennsylvania is proposing a change in that state's election law that would bring the presidential vote there closer to the one-person, one-vote principle that is at the heart of a popular vote. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is proposing that Pennsylvania's electoral votes no longer be awarded on a statewide, winner-take-all basis. Instead, they would be divided proportionally depending on who won in each of the state's congressional districts, making them more reflective of the popular vote in the state. The remaining two votes would go to the statewide winner.

    Opposition to this plan has come largely from Democrats, who worry that district-by-district apportionment of electoral votes in Pennsylvania would favor a Republican nominee. That is hardly a principled objection. But other critics object to a situation in which Pennsylvania would opt out of the system used by virtually every other state. (Only two states, Nebraska and Maine, apportion electoral votes partly by congressional district.)

    An alternative, and preferable, reform was signed into California law this summer by Gov. Jerry Brown. It commits California to awarding its electoral votes for president to the winner of the national popular vote. The provision, however, takes effect only when states with a total of 270 votes or more — the winning margin in the electoral college — sign on to the system. It's an ingenious approach that would turn the presidential election into a popular vote without a constitutional amendment. (In addition to making the presidential election more democratic, it would also encourage candidates to campaign in formerly "safe" states.)

    Of course, neither of these arrangements is a substitute for the abolition of the electoral college through a constitutional amendment. The system is a vestige of a time when states' rights were considered more important than individual rights. If voters can directly elect senators, as they have done since ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, they should be able to vote directly for president.

    Presidents do not have any role in the enactment of constitutional amendments. Still, candidates for the office in 2012 should be asked whether they support abolishing the electoral college or taking other measures to ensure that presidents are elected by a majority vote. Their answers would demonstrate just how democratic they think this republic should be.



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