"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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    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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    Santa Cruz Sentinel
    As We See It: Time has come for popular vote for president
    Santa Cruz Sentinel Editorial
    August 10, 2011

    The method of electing presidents in our country is outmoded and unfair.

    The Electoral College system, set up by the Founding Fathers was enacted to ensure that in a small, fledgling country, people would not be disenfranchised by an all-powerful central government [an argument still being heard].

    The question then was how to choose a president without political parties, which weren't trusted; without national campaigns, which were impractical in the 18th century; and without upsetting the carefully crafted balance between the presidency and Congress and between the states and the federal government.

    But the original College lasted only through the first four presidential elections, done in by the rise of political parties. In the presidential election of 1800, Electors gave Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr [both in the same party] an equal number of electoral votes. The tie was resolved by the House of Representatives in Jefferson's favor — but only after 36 tries and considerable politicking. Since this sort of thing was what the Electoral College was supposed to prevent, Congress and the states quickly adopted the 12th Amendment to the Constitution in 1804, which requires that each Elector cast one vote for president and a separate vote for vice president rather than casting two votes for president with the runner-up being made vice president. The 12th Amendment also stipulates that if no one receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, then the House of Representatives will select the president, among other provisions.

    Over the years, however, the reasons for maintaining the Electoral College have faded into the mists of history. The move to change the system to a popular vote gained traction after the 2000 presidential election, when Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote, only to lose the Electoral College. After numerous challenges, recounts, and finally court decisions, George W. Bush was elected president.

    Four years later, Bush won 3 million more popular votes than his Democratic challenger, John Kerry — but if Kerry had won just 60,000 more votes in Ohio, the Democrat would have taken the White House by winning the Electoral College.

    For those reasons, and more, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday making California the eighth state supporting the drive to hand the electoral votes of all participating states to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide.

    Currently, California's 55 electoral votes go to the person who wins the most votes in the state. But under the new law, the state's votes could go to another candidate, although the law would make it impossible for a candidate to be elected president without winning the national popular vote.

    It's unlikely the system will change before the 2016 election, since states representing a majority of electoral votes — 270 out of 538 — have to sign on; so far, the eight states and the District of Columbia, which also supports the effort, comprise 132 votes.

    This is a proposal overdue for adoption — and not just because the Electoral College is an archaic vestige of a time when 13 states made up the union.

    What has happened is that presidential candidates only campaign in a relatively few states where Electoral College votes are up for grabs.

    Since California, by far the largest state, is heavily Democratic in party registration, candidates write it off.

    Thus a voter in Ohio, almost always a battleground state, has a lot more sway with the possible next president than one in California, whose 17 million registered voters rarely see presidential nominees.

    Indeed, just about the only time candidates come here is to raise money.

    No Republicans signed on to the legislation — mainly because the party, already a distinct minority in California, fears Democrats will pour money into the state if the system changes.

    Maybe — but as Californians, why wouldn't we want to see the next president talking to voters about issues that matter in our state such as federal spending on infrastructure, immigration and ocean protection?

    This won't happen, however, unless the Electoral College is scrapped and presidents are elected by popular vote.


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