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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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    Possibility of A Tie in the Electoral College
    September 12, 2008

    A Politico column (below) discusses the possibility of a tie in the Electoral College in 2008.

    An article in Election Insider dated September 8, 2008 (below) points out that an "Electoral College tie scenario is not far-fetched."


    In event of a tie in the Electoral College (269 to 269), the election for President goes into the House of Representatives and the election of the Vice President goes to the U.S. Senate.

    When the House of Representatives elects the President, each state has one vote. If a congressional delegation is equally divided, the state cannot vote. An absolute majority of 26 votes is required for election. The vote takes place in the newly elected House of Representatives after the official counting of the electoral votes by a joint session of the new Congress (held on January 5). As a point of reference, prior to the November 2008 elections, the House of Representatives has 26 Democratic delegations, 22 Republican delegations, and two tied delegations. There has been speculation that Democratic South Dakota Cong. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin might vote for a Republican for President if the President were ever elected by the House.

    In any event, the requirement for an absolute majority and the fact that House of Representatives is often closely divided creates the possibility that the House might fail to make any choice for President before the inauguration date of January 20. In that event, the Vice President chosen by the Senate becomes President.

    When the Senate elects the Vice President, each Senator has one vote. However, it is not entirely clear whether the outgoing Vice President (whose term of office runs until January 20) can vote in case of a tie. In January 2001, the newly elected Senate was equally divided after the 2000 elections.

    A close division currently exists in the Senate (but may not exist after the November 2008 elections). Currently, there are 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans. Vermont's independent Senator (Bernie Sanders) generally votes with the Democrats. Although Connecticut's independent Senator (Joe Lieberman) has voted with the Democrats for purpose of organizing the Senate and on many issues, Lieberman supports John McCain for President. If an election of a Vice President were conducted with the current composition of the U.S. Senate, the question would arise as to whether outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney would vote.

    The National Popular Vote bill would eliminate the possibility of a presidential election being thrown in Congress because the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states would be guaranteed a majority of the electoral votes in the Electoral College.




    Tie goes to Obama - Burr shoots Hamilton

    By David Mark
    Politico
    August 2, 2008

    In 1800, Alexander Hamilton cast the House vote that gave Thomas Jefferson the presidency over Aaron Burr. Four years later, Burr mortally wounded Hamilton in a duel.

    The last time it happened was in 1800, when Thomas Jefferson crushed sitting President John Adams in the popular vote, but owing to a technicality ended up in an electoral vote tie with his own running mate, Aaron Burr, leaving the House to decide the next president. Alexander Hamilton eventually broke the deadlock in Jefferson's favor, and four years later Burr evened the score by mortally wounding Hamilton in a duel.

    Even if the electoral votes knot at 269 this year, it's unlikely McCain would shoot a congressman, but very likely the House will select a President Obama.

    Here's the most likely scenario for a tie: Give Obama the 252 electoral votes John Kerry won for the Democrats in 2004, and add to those New Mexico (5) and Iowa (7), which narrowly went for President Bush in 2004 after backing Al Gore in 2000, and traditionally Republican Colorado (9), where changing demographics favor Obama. Subtract New Hampshire (4), renowned for its independent streak and where voters in Republican primaries have twice favored McCain over establishment-backed and better-funded candidates, and it amounts to 269-269.

    The projection model used by Nate Silver of the electoral projection and analysis site www.fivethirtyeight.com presently shows just a .48 percent chance of this happening.

    "That's not high, but it's not trivial either," said Scott A. Moss, a University of Colorado law professor and a statistics junkie. Looking back to the 2000 election, he added, "What were the odds that Florida was going to be within a thousandth of one percent?"

    Silver added that as Nov. 4 approaches, the Electoral College picture will become clearer, and "It's going to be close enough that [a tie is] definitely possible. If it's close, it's possible it becomes closer to 2 percent."

    Polling results and interviews with campaign strategists, pollsters and analysts in all four states suggest that they are ripe for turnover.

    Iowa and New Mexico were the only two states that backed Al Gore in 2000 but voted for Bush four years later. The Real Clear Politics polling average currently has Obama up by 7.4 percent in the Hawkeye State. In New Mexico, which Bush lost by a scant 365 votes in 2000 and won by less than one percentage point in 2004, polls by Zogby, Rasmussen and SurveyUSA over the last month show Obama up between 3 and 16 percentage points.

    "New Mexico tends to mirror the national polls, so when you see a national poll showing Obama up 4 to 6 points, that's a pretty good indicator," said Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling, Inc., New Mexico's largest survey research company. "The question is, can Obama resonate among Hispanic Democrats and rural Democrats? Can he be seen as a regular guy?"

    In Colorado a public Policy Polling survey released July 14 showed Obama leading McCain 47 percent to 43 percent, mainly on the strength of the Hispanic vote.

    Obama is investing heavily in luring new residents to the polls, Moss said, though it's not clear how many of those residents will vote. "It's a very transient state," Moss added. "If you go to a supermarket here, there's a decent chance an Obama worker is going to ask you to register to vote. I think Obama has a lead, but I wouldn't bet a lot of money on it."

    In New Hampshire polls show an even tighter race. The Real Clear average gives Obama a 0.7 percent lead in the Granite State.

    Even if Obama holds New Hampshire, there could still be an Electoral College tie if he loses Colorado, but picks up 17 electoral votes by winning Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada (5), a perennial presidential battleground state.

    There are also a number of even less likely scenarios that would produce a tie. Several include Obama picking off a single electoral vote in Nebraska, which, like Maine, apportions its electors by congressional district, rather than by statewide result.

    But no matter the breakdown, it's a good bet that a 269-269 tie would result in an Obama victory in the House, where the Constitution gives each state's delegation one vote. The vote of California's 53 members, for example, could be canceled out by North Dakota's one-member delegation. In the current 110th Congress, Democrats control 26 state delegations to the Republicans' 22, while two are tied. And with Democrats poised to pick up seats in the fall elections, that margin is likely to increase.

    Of course some House members not in safe seats might back their district's choice, even if that's the other party's candidate. Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.), for instance, represents a state likely to back Obama by a wide margin in the fall, while Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's South Dakota constituents will probably support McCain.

    "There would be a lot of theatrics," Silver said. "It's something to almost prepare for and think through, because it would really be a disaster."

    George C. Edwards III, professor of political science at Texas A&M University and author of the 2004 book "Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America," said many Americans would deem illegitimate an election decided by politicians. The fact that state delegations with big delegations would have the same as small ones would compound the hard feelings.

    "The system for voting in the House of Representatives is the most egregious violation of democratic principles in American government," Edwards said. "It would be a very bad situation."




    Presidential Electoral College Tie Not Impossible

    Election Insider
    September 8, 2008

    As the election rapidly approaches in this closely divided country, there is much discussion about the various Electoral College vote scenarios and the combination of states that Barack Obama or John McCain need to win.

    What if the Electoral College were to end in a tie at 269 electoral votes apiece? This is not an unrealistic election scenario. Therefore, the maintenance of a strong Democratic majority in the House could develop into the most important aspect of the 2008 campaign. The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution says that, in the event of a tie, the presidency is decided by the vote of the members of the House of Representatives, and the vice presidency is determined by the Senate. A hard look at the electoral map, as it is shaping up in 2008, shows that the work done by the NCEC to protect and expand the Democratic congressional majority may make our 60th year our most important.

    Electoral College Tie Scenario is Not Far-Fetched

    The number of Electoral College votes needed to win is 270. But, what if each candidate wins states totaling 269 votes? While it seems improbable, only a few changes in the Electoral College vote could lead to exactly that conclusion. For example, if Barack Obama were to achieve his goal of carrying the new swing states of Colorado , and Virginia, where he has been holding small leads over the past couple of months, but loses in the traditional swing states of Florida, Michigan, and Ohio, then a tie vote becomes very possible. A tie scenario vote would also require Obama loses Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and North Carolina, all competitive states that currently lean Republican. An average polls taken in these battleground states shows that a tie is possible. As the map below shows, Michigan and North Dakota would need to move to the McCain column for the race to end in a tie.

    Click here the remainder of the article and charts and map