"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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    Hall Institute
    New Jersey Shouldnít Be Ignored in Presidential Elections
    Hall Institute op-Ed
    by Chris Pearson
    June 21, 2007

    As a State Legislator I am frustrated when I have to tell constituents their question is actually tackle at the national level. This feeds the idea that politicians only want to pass the buck.

    When it comes to the ineffective way we elect the President, most immediately think the U.S. Constitution is the rulebook and therefore any change must lie with Congress. Turns out states have the power to update the Electoral College so the person who gets the most votes, wins. Seriously.

    The system we have today is broken at many levels:

    • Votes are not equal from state to state
    • You can get elected without getting the most votes
    • There is no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize or campaign in the two thirds of the states Ė most of us sit on the sidelines and watch Ohio, Florida, and a few others make the decision

    In 2004, a shocking 66 percent of all money spent during the presidential campaign went to influence votes in five states. During the last month of that campaign, more money was spent on advertising in Florida then 46 states combined. There is something wrong with this picture.

    And what about electing the second-place candidate? Itís happened four times in our history, most recently in 2000. But few recognize how often we come close to a similar backfire. In 2004, for instance, a shift of just 60,000 votes for Kerry in Ohio would have awarded him the White House despite trailing President Bush by 3.5 million votes. In fact, a small shift in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in five of the last 12 elections.

    New Jersey, though a major economic driver in the Unites States, gets no attention in Presidential elections. Candidates donít visit (unless theyíre raising money), they donít poll your opinions, they donít focus on issues of particular importance to your voters, and they donít offer volunteers a meaningful way to get involved short of heading to Pennsylvania to influence voters there.

    The state-based effort to fix the problem is driven by a group called National Popular Vote (www.nationalpopularvote.com). This year, their bill has over 340 sponsors in 47 states. Itís passed 11 chambers and has an affirmative vote from 10% of state legislators in the country. Maryland enacted the bill in April and is waiting for other states to join them.

    In New Jersey the bill is sponsored by Senators Codey and Lesniak. Last week it was voted out of committee and is expected in front of the full Senate within the next few months. Hereís how the legislation works:

    The Constitution gives states exclusive power over their own electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska divide theirs by congressional district today, the rest of use the winner-take-all method. Under the National Popular Vote plan, New Jersey would give its votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in the whole country (not just New Jersey). The change doesnít go into effect until enough states have adopted the bill that together they control 270 votes in the Electoral College (a majority). At that point Ė it doesnít matter which state have passed the bill Ė you add up the votes in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and whoever has the most votes is guaranteed a majority in the Electoral College. They win.

    Suddenly every vote in the country is equal. Suddenly Ohio and Florida no longer dominate the entire campaign. We all get to participate. Issues that matter to voters in New Jersey would get attention from national candidates. People who want to get involved in a Presidential campaign can talk to their neighbors if they want to help their candidate. Driving to Pennsylvania or New Hampshire is no longer part of the winning strategy. With a popular vote we all county the same, and we invigorate a strong public discussion. New Jersey would no longer be taken for granted by candidates in either party.

    Since the 1940s, when Gallop started asking the question, 70 percent of Americans have said we should elect the President by a popular vote. Now the answer lies in the statehouses around the country. This is the new effort, but itís quickly picking up speed. Iím hoping lawmakers in New Jersey will see this as an opportunity to fix a broken system. The person with the most votes should win. And, New Jersey should come off the sidelines and take its rightful place in our one national election: counting the same as everyone else.

    When it comes to updating our Presidential elections, the buck stops with the state lawmakers. Letís hope enough join together to put a popular election for President into place.

    Chris Pearson is a State Legislator from Vermont and a board member for the National Popular Vote organization.


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