"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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    Advisory Board
    John Anderson (R-I–IL)
    Birch Bayh (D–IN)
    John Buchanan (R–AL)
    Tom Campbell (R–CA)
    Tom Downey (D–NY)
    D. Durenberger (R–MN)
    Jake Garn (R–UT)
    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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    Chicago Tribune
    Coalition of former congressmen is launching a campaign to change how Americans select their president
    by Jeff Zeleny
    February 23, 2006

    A coalition of former congressmen is launching a campaign to change how Americans select their president by reforming the Electoral College system, saying campaigns for the White House should be reliant on the nationwide popular vote rather than simply the outcome in a handful of swing states.

    The bipartisan group plans to announce its proposal Thursday and begin a state-by-state effort to amend the Electoral College so the winner reflects the view of the country instead of an individual state or two with a close vote on Election Day. The plan would seek to eliminate the possibility of a candidate winning the popular vote but losing the election, as happened to former Vice President Al Gore in 2000.

    "The time is long past to not play Electoral College roulette every four years," former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., said in an interview. "It is a throwback to 1887."

    The plan, called the Campaign for the National Popular Vote, will be unveiled in Washington by Bayh; former Rep. John Anderson, R-Ill.; and other former members of Congress. The effort begins in Illinois, where legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly, followed by California and other states....

    "The presidency becomes an irrelevant thing to two-thirds of the union," said Anderson, who was a congressman for 20 years and ran for president in 1980 as an independent. "All the people ought to decide, but now most states are tossed on the scrap heap and ignored" because Democratic or Republican candidates consistently win electoral votes in some states, thus effectively disenfranchising voters on the losing side in those states.

    Previous attempts to change the Electoral College by amending the Constitution have failed in Congress, so proponents of reform are seeking to change laws through individual state legislatures. The initiative does not seek to abolish the Electoral College, but rather award the electors from each state to the candidate who wins the country's popular vote.

    Supporters of the plan say the last two elections illustrate the need - for Republicans and Democrats alike - to change the system of electing the president.

    In 2000, Gore won the popular vote by about 500,000 ballots, but lost the election in the Electoral College after George W. Bush narrowly won the popular vote in Florida and all 25 of its electoral votes. In 2004, President Bush won the popular vote by 3 million ballots, but would have lost his re-election bid if Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., had simply carried Ohio....

    The Electoral College system, critics argue, allows presidential hopefuls to ignore the majority of the country as they focus their attention on a collection of swing states. In the last two campaigns, candidates traveled again and again to states like Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and New Mexico, while rarely stopping in Illinois, California, Texas or New York, four large states that were correctly deemed locked in the Democratic or Republican camps long before Election Day.

    "We shouldn't make irrelevant 10 out of the 13 most populous states," Anderson said. "Why should people feel they should even vote if they are irrelevant to the process?"

    For three decades, Anderson has worked to amend the Electoral College, an effort that so far has found no success. But this is the first major attempt to take the effort to the states, he said, where he believes it will be met with less resistance than amending the Constitution.

    The legislation calls for each state to join an interstate compact. When enough states join that represent 270 electoral votes - the number needed to win the presidency - the laws would simultaneously take effect....

    The campaign is targeting states that have been excluded in recent presidential races. But even supporters of the goal concede that the state-by-state plan will not affect the next race, which is already under way as candidates begin visiting states that kick off the nominating process.

    "It's not going to be ready by the 2008 election, but I think it's certainly going to be ready by 2012," said Bayh, whose son Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., is exploring a White House bid in two years. "That sounds like a long period of time, until you start to think how old the country is and how long the founding fathers worked."


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