"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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Entrepreneur Tom Golisano Endorses National Popular Vote

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)
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    Tom Downey (D–NY)
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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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    State Legislators
    Make Every Vote Count
    A national popular vote would make sure no state is disadvantaged and every vote is equal.
    State Legislatures op-Ed
    By Jon S. Cardin
    September, 2007

    Throughout our country’s history, we have been vigilant in expanding democracy, empowering individuals and correcting injustices through the ballot box. We have remedied the disenfranchisement of women, African Americans and many others since the days of the Continental Congress. We have provided for the election of senators directly by individuals rather than by state legislatures. We have made confidential voting easier for the disabled and possible for the blind. We have worked to make the voting process more convenient, confident and transparent without compromising security.

    Despite our progress, challenges to our democracy persist. The way we elect our president is flawed. When a candidate can win the popular vote but lose the election, and when he must spend 90 percent of his time in five states to win the election, the process has become un-democratic. A national popular vote (NPV) would fix many of the problems surfacing in the Electoral College, and is perfectly constitutional if done correctly.

    The Electoral College is antiquated and anti-democratic. Once it protected smaller states from being ignored. Today, since only a few small and medium states are considered battleground states, candidates simply avoid spending time or money in the majority of small and medium states.

    A candidate can win the popular vote but lose the presidency. Al Gore did so in 2000. A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry, even though he lost the national popular vote by millions. Similar small changes in one or two states could have altered the winner of the election without affecting the popular vote many times in recent history.

    An agreement among the states and the District of Columbia to use the popular vote numbers to determine their representatives to the Electoral College could change all this. The national popular vote policy would become binding once a critical mass of states enter to give it an electoral majority (270 votes).

    If the electoral votes go to the national popular winner, candidates will be required to campaign in all states to guarantee the electoral votes of all the members of the compact, thereby holding an electoral majority. No state can be ignored, no matter how small, large, red or blue.

    Our country’s founders gave states exclusive and plenary control over the manner of awarding their electoral votes. A state can choose its electors based on a winner-take-all system, the votes in congressional districts, a vote in the legislature or even the flip of a coin. Legislators are, of course, encouraged and expected to choose a way that best protects their state’s interests. With more than 30 states disadvantaged by the current system, it is in our best interests, our voters’ best interests, and the best interests of democracy to choose electors by a national popular vote.

    There is no constitutional impairment with this plan. We have more than 100 interstate compacts dealing with trade and security, transportation, law enforcement and environmental issues already in place. The federal government has even less power with respect to how states choose their electors than with these issues. The NPV compact would be completely constitutional, with or without congressional consent, based on established Supreme Court precedent.

    Opponents of a national popular vote say it will take away the voice of smaller states. The argument is that because every state is given a two-vote bonus, the small states have fewer people per elector and therefore more of a say. Under the NPV they would lose the effect of that two-elector boost. In theory, this argument is accurate. But in today’s world, these two electors are essentially irrelevant. The population of 11 of the smallest states is roughly equal to that of Ohio. Those 11 states have almost twice as many electoral votes as Ohio. One would expect that those states combined received twice as much of the candidates’ time and money in 2004. Instead, because they were not battleground states, they received a tiny fraction of what Ohio received. No system (including the coin flip) could possibly disadvantage the small states as much as the current one.

    The NPV is picking up momentum. Two states have passed it; 41 have considered it. At least one member of Congress from each state supports the idea. So do former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford also supported it.

    A nationwide popular election of the president would make every single voter—whether from Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Texas, North Dakota or anywhere else—equal. It is time for a change in campaign strategy. We need a national campaign—we deserve a national debate—with equal attention to every state.


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