"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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    Boston Globe Editorials




    Voting: Let the winner win
    April 19, 2009

    Last fall's presidential election was blessedly free of the turmoil that marked the 2000 vote count, but mainly because it was a blowout. In a tighter race, a candidate who loses the popular vote can still win the presidency by cobbling together the right states. The National Popular Vote initiative would cure that; states representing a majority of the Electoral College would pledge their support to whoever wins the popular vote nationwide. Last week, Washington state became the fifth state to commit to the proposal, which almost passed last year in Massachusetts. (Both chambers of the Legislature approved it, but it failed to clear the final hurdle before the end of the session.) This year, the Commonwealth should adopt it.





    Bring on the popularity contest
    June 22, 2008

    A FUNNY thing happens when elections really matter: Voters go to the polls in droves. Such was the case during the long battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which produced record turnout in Democratic contests from coast to coast.

    The dynamic will change in November, when perhaps a dozen states will be battlegrounds in the presidential race. And that's why the state Legislature should pass the National Popular Vote bill, which commits a state to throwing its electoral votes to whoever gets the most votes nationwide. While Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi both support the bill, it may not pass before the end of the legislative session next month.

    The measure would only take effect if adopted by states representing a majority of the Electoral College, and proponents aren't likely to reach that threshold this year. In the future, though, the plan would eliminate the most obvious flaw in the current system: that the candidate with the most votes can still lose, as Al Gore did in 2000. A major side benefit is that the plan would widen future presidential races to all 50 states. While election turnout depends heavily on a state's laws, the dearth of campaigning in sure states has its consequences. Four years ago, turnout among voting-age adults was lowest in California and Hawaii, where John Kerry won easily. Turnout was highest in Minnesota, where Kerry won with only 51 percent, and Wisconsin, where George W. Bush barely squeaked past 50 percent.

    Under the National Popular Vote plan, a vote in deep-blue Massachusetts or deep-red Utah would count as much as a vote in Michigan or Ohio. Candidates would feel less obliged to make policy zigzags to appease swing-state special interests. Anti-Castro hardliners in Florida and steel interests in Pennsylvania might not enjoy the same outsized influence. But for voters, the benefits would be enormous.





    A fix for the Electoral College
    February 18, 2008

    THE ELECTORAL College has a pernicious effect on American politics, and not just because every now and then someone wins the presidency even after losing the popular vote. Enshrined in the Constitution, the system divides the presidential election into 50 state contests - relatively few of which are competitive, because most states tilt predictably toward one party. Candidates target their campaigns to the concerns of a small number of swing states, and voters in other states have less incentive to turn out.

    One clever way to fix this problem is a proposal called National Popular Vote. The Constitution lets states decide how to choose their electors, and nearly every state now gives all its electors to the winner of the popular vote in that state. (Maine and Nebraska, in theory, can split their votes.) States that adopt National Popular Vote laws would instead pledge their electoral votes to whoever gets the most votes nationwide. The pact would take effect only when adopted by states with a total of 270 or more electoral votes - a majority of the Electoral College. New Jersey and Maryland have already signed on.

    Massachusetts should follow suit. The measure has already passed the Committee on Election Laws, and deserves to be adopted. Local backers of the measure, such as the Massachusetts chapter of Common Cause, hope that the reform would boost voter participation.

    The most direct solution would be a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College. But that is unlikely to happen; an amendment could be blocked by the 13 smallest states, whose electoral power is magnified under the present system.

    To be sure, the National Popular Vote plan is a long shot as well, and it has its skeptics. Secretary of State William Galvin says he too would like to change the current system but thinks the proposed legislation is unlikely to pass in enough states. He also says it could "open the door to mischief" - perhaps in the form of competing proposals to adjust the way states choose their electors. He notes that California Republicans recently tried to get that reliably Democratic megastate's electoral votes allocated by congressional district.

    But the benefits are worth the risk. Earlier this month, Massachusetts voters got a taste of what it feels like to count in the presidential race. And how refreshing it was! In previous campaigns, the state's presidential primaries came too late to affect the outcome of the major parties' nomination battles, and the inclination to vote Democratic in November meant that its electoral votes were rarely in play. This year was different. Confronted on Feb. 5 with competitive Democratic and Republican races - and the possibility that the outcome in Massachusetts might influence the results for once - the electorate turned out in record numbers. Voters in every state deserve the same opportunity in all presidential elections.



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