"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
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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
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    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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    Providence Journal
    A better way to elect our presidents
    Providence Journal Op-Ed
    John Anderson
    March 7, 2007

    WASHINGTON — A LITTLE LESS than two years from today, the United States will inaugurate its 44th president. That’s not in doubt. The two open questions are, who will it be, and — perhaps more importantly — how will that person be elected? Will individual votes matter?

    Beginning in elementary school, and every year after that, we are taught, “Your vote counts.” Indeed, the opportunity to vote is one of the most basic — and hard-fought — rights of Americans. It is the foundation of our democracy. And yet, every four years, our system for electing the U.S. president means that the votes of many Americans do not really count in the ways that matter most.

    The current system, which awards all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in that state, gives presidential candidates every reason to ignore uncontested states and focus instead on states where the race is tight. In recent presidential elections, for instance, ethanol fuel — of concern to Midwest battleground states like Iowa — has gotten a lot of play; by contrast, issues of concern primarily to such “safe” states as Massachusetts or Kansas have been ignored.

    Rhode Island has gone Democratic in 10 of the last 12 presidential elections, giving Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, respectively, their largest and second-largest percentage margins of victory.

    The winner-take-all law compels candidates to devote nearly all of their attention to the battleground states (think Florida, Michigan, Ohio), and virtually none to uncontested states like Rhode Island. Would-be presidents do not need to appear here, organize here, advertise here, poll here, or focus on our policy concerns.

    Indeed, Rhode Islanders can attest that they rarely do any of these things here (except for occasional fundraising visits by Democratic candidates). And the statistics back up the anecdotal evidence: In the 2004 election, 99 percent of advertising money spent in the last month by the presidential campaigns was spent in 17 states, and 92 percent of last-month presidential and vice presidential campaign visits were made to just 16 states. Simply put: Whether a voter matters to presidential campaigns depends on the accident of whether other voters in the voter’s own state are closely divided.

    Beyond effectively disenfranchising voters in two-thirds of states, a second critical flaw in the current system for electing the president is that a candidate can win the presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This fear isn’t theoretical. Four times in U.S. history — about once every 60 years — a candidate has won the presidency this way. Most recently, Al Gore received 537,149 votes more than George W. Bush in 2000 — but Bush won the presidency.

    Fortunately, the Rhode Island General Assembly has an opportunity this year to help bring some sense to our system for electing the president — and significance back to Rhode Island’s presidential-election votes. The National Popular Vote Bill, sponsored by state Representatives Art Handy and David Segal, and Sen. Daniel Issa, would guarantee that the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in the country as a whole wins the presidency. Identical bills are expected to be introduced in all 50 states this year.

    Here’s how the National Popular Vote Bill works. Like all states, Rhode Island has exclusive and complete power to allocate its electoral votes; we may change our state laws concerning the awarding of electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of Rhode Island’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a president (270 of 538).

    Because the electoral votes would be awarded strictly on the basis of the number of popular votes candidates receive across all 50 states, candidates would have an incentive to campaign across all — and attend to the policy concerns — of voters in all 50 states. This is a far different circumstance than in the current system, as we have seen.

    Our current system for electing the president is dysfunctional. Seventy percent of Americans believe that the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes should win the presidency. The National Popular Vote bill allows us a constitutional and practical way to make it so.

    John Anderson was an independent candidate for president in 1980 and is a former Republican congressman from Illinois.


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