"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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    Guest View: Preserve the electoral college and make every Nebraska vote count
    Journal-Star Op-Ed
    By Laura Brod
    March 6, 2011

    This year, the Nebraska Legislature is debating how Nebraska should award its five electoral votes. One option is LB583, a state-based plan to preserve — not abolish or render irrelevant — the Electoral College.

    Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution grants exclusive authority to each state legislature to determine how to award electoral votes. Like Nebraska's congressional district approach and other states' winner-take-all approach, National Popular Vote is an exercise of this constitutional state power.

    National Popular Vote is an agreement among participating states to guarantee the presidency to the candidate who wins the popular vote in all 50 states. The agreement lays idle until states totaling a majority of the Electoral College (270 or more electoral votes) enter into the agreement. Only at that point do the agreeing states award their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes in all fifty states. Six states, totaling 74 electoral votes, already have entered the agreement.

    So why would Nebraska want to award its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote? Because Nebraska can maximize its political influence, do away with battleground states dictating national public policy, and guarantee the presidency to the candidate who wins the most popular votes.

    Because of the existing state statutes that award electoral votes (either by the statewide vote total as in most states or the districtwide total as in Nebraska), presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the concerns of voters in states (or Nebraska congressional districts) where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Thus the election focuses on a few states where the outcome is not obvious, while the rest of the country is ignored.

    Candidates from both parties pander to, and subsequently govern for, voters in those battleground states while ignoring voters and taxpayers in all others. In 2008, candidates concentrated more than two-thirds of their general election campaign visits and advertisements in just six battleground states — with 98 percent of spending going to just 15 states. Effectively, voters in 35 states were mere spectators in the country's most important election.

    Under National Popular Vote, the election would not be about battleground states and regardless of where an American lives, his or her vote will be treated exactly the same. Further, national policies won't be targeted to battleground states (think steel tariffs for Pennsylvania that harmed agricultural states and Medicare Part D drug benefits for Florida). Issues will be addressed that go ignored now because they matter only to non-battleground states (think immigration or border issues).

    A National Popular Vote will allow Nebraska to maximize its political influence. Most of us learned in school that the intent of the Electoral College was to protect small states. Importantly, National Popular Vote does not alter Nebraska's intended outsized influence of five electoral votes. Instead, National Popular Vote adds to that influence by using each and every Nebraskan's vote in the popular vote total of all 50 states.

    Currently, thousands of Nebraskans' votes are wasted because each vote after one more than the runner-up is unnecessary to how Nebraskan's electoral votes are awarded. For example, in 2004 Nebraska (five electoral votes) voted for President George W. Bush by a 258,486 vote margin, and New Jersey (15 electoral votes) voted for Senator John Kerry by a 241,427 vote margin. Despite winning by virtually the same margin, President Bush received just five electoral votes from Nebraska while Kerry received 15 from New Jersey. Under National Popular Vote, the result would have been entirely different. Because each vote goes towards the national total, the 258,486 extra people voting for Bush in Nebraska would have more than matched the 241,427 extra people voting for Kerry in New Jersey. Said another way, under National Popular Vote, Nebraska would have had the same influence on the election as New Jersey, a significantly larger state.

    With National Popular Vote, Nebraska lawmakers can maximize the state's political influence, do away with the problem of battleground states, and ensure that the candidate who wins the most popular votes wins the presidency. All while preserving the Electoral College.

    Laura Brod is a former Republican state representative from Minnesota (2002-2010) and co-author of National Popular Vote legislation in that state.

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