"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ..." -- U.S. Constitution
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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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    The Tennessean
    National popular vote gains ground
    The Tennessean Op-Ed
    By Bob Davis and Randy Button
    March 20, 2012

    There is a quiet movement that could dramatically change the way our country elects its president. This movement doesn't alter our Constitution or give one political party advantage over another. This plan is a nonpartisan idea that merits consideration by our elected officials and affords each vote to carry the same weight nationwide.

    The plan is a compact between states for a national popular vote for president, awarding victory to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally. What a novel idea, since every other major election in our country is held in the same manner. So appealing is the plan to Americans, it is halfway to the 270 votes needed to put it in place, becoming law in eight states and passing 38 other state legislative chambers.

    The Founding Fathers had so much deliberation over this one issue that there was no consensus on how to proceed to choose electors. After 30 days of deliberation, the consensus was to let the states decide. Our current system became the norm by virtue of piecemeal enactment by the states, not by a federally constituted amendment. There have been attempts in the past to implement this idea, with the strong nonpartisan support of individuals such as Sen. Howard Baker Jr., President George H.W. Bush, and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.

    Supporters of the popular-vote system argue that millions who vote don't count under the current system, in which all of a state's electors go to the candidate with the most votes in that state. For example, in California, usually carried by the Democratic nominee, thousands of votes cast for the Republican nominee simply don't count when the Electoral College votes are tallied.

    Popular vote proponents also point out that the few states with the most electoral votes get most of the attention during the presidential campaign. Tennessee, for example, has become a "fly-over" state. All but about 14 states are now labeled fly-over states. The candidates spend their resources in only those 14 states, talking about issues that may or may not be worthy of a national discussion.

    A statewide poll conducted by the McLaughlin Group, a conservative polling firm, found that four of every five Tennesseans want the candidate who receives the most votes to win the White House, and 83 percent believe the person who receives the most votes should always be the winner. The poll also showed that all demographics support the plan. Finally, a nonpartisan issue we can all agree on.

    Four times in our nation's history, the candidate who received the most votes lost. In 2004, with a shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio, our country would have faced the dilemma of a candidate winning the Electoral College, but losing by almost 4 million votes nationwide. President George W. Bush would have lost, and Sen. John Kerry would have been the victor.

    With our country's delicate status globally, we are in no position to have a weak president trying to govern without the solid support of the American people. Our Founding Fathers realized this and have allowed states the latitude to decide how electors are determined. Tennesseans have always been in the forefront of major national decisions, and by the overwhelming support of a national popular vote, we once again have an opportunity to lead on this nonpartisan issue.

    Bob Davis is former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, and Randy Button is former chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.


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