"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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    Tom Downey (D–NY)
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    The Electoral College

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    The U.S. Constitution specifies that the President and Vice President of the United States are to be chosen every four years by a small group of people who are individually referred to as “presidential electors.” The electors are collectively referred to as the “Electoral College.”

    The Constitution specifies that each state is entitled to one member of the Electoral College for each of its U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators. Today, there are a total of 538 electoral votes in the Electoral College. This total corresponds to the 435 U.S. Representatives from the 50 states plus the 100 U.S. Senators from the 50 states plus the three members of the Electoral College to which the District of Columbia became entitled under the 23rd Amendment (ratified in 1961). Every 10 years, the 435 U.S. Representatives are reapportioned among the states in accordance with the latest federal census, thereby automatically reapportioning the membership of the Electoral College among the states.

    Members of the Electoral College are chosen by each state and the District of Columbia on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in presidential election years. Each political party nominates its own candidates (typically long-standing party activists) for the position of presidential elector.

    The 538 members of the Electoral College cast their votes for President and Vice President in meetings held in the 50 state capitals and the District of Columbia in mid-December of presidential election years. If all 538 electors are appointed, 270 electoral votes (i.e., a majority of 538 members of the Electoral College) are required to elect the President and the Vice President.

    The three North Dakota members of the Electoral College met on December 15, 2000, in Bismarck to cast their votes for the Bush-Cheney ticket. Gov. John Hoeven (left) observes former Gov. Ed Schafer put his signature to ballot for Electoral College. The other two electors are former state Senator Bryce Streibel of Fressenden and former Lieutenant Governor Rosemarie Myrdal.    more

    The three Wyoming members of the Electoral College met in December 1996 in Cheyenne to cast their votes for the Robert Dole for President and Jack Kemp for Vice President.

    The table below shows the distribution of electoral votes among the 51 jurisdictions that appoint members of the Electoral College. Because each state has two Senators and at least one Representative, no state has fewer than three members of the Electoral College. The states with the most members of the Electoral College are California (55), Texas (34), and New York (31). There are 13 low-population states with three or four members of the Electoral College. The average number of members of the Electoral College per state is about 11.

    Distribution of electoral votes
    JurisdictionRepresentativesSenatorsTotal Members of the Electoral College
    Alabama729
    Alaska123
    Arizona8210
    Arkansas426
    California53255
    Colorado729
    Connecticut527
    Delaware123
    DC003
    Florida25227
    Georgia13215
    Hawaii224
    Idaho224
    Illinois19221
    Indiana9211
    Iowa527
    Kansas426
    Kentucky628
    Louisiana729
    Maine224
    Maryland8210
    Massachusetts10212
    Michigan15217
    Minnesota8210
    Mississippi426
    Missouri9211
    Montana123
    Nebraska325
    Nevada325
    New Hampshire224
    New Jersey13215
    New Mexico325
    New York29231
    North Carolina13215
    North Dakota123
    Ohio18220
    Oklahoma527
    Oregon527
    Pennsylvania19221
    Rhode Island224
    South Carolina628
    South Dakota123
    Tennessee9211
    Texas32234
    Utah325
    Vermont123
    Virginia11213
    Washington9211
    West Virginia325
    Wisconsin8210
    Wyoming123
    Total435100538

    The date for the meeting of the Electoral College is established by federal election law (United States Code. Title 3, chapter 1, section 7). In 2004, the designated day for the meeting of the Electoral College was Monday, December 13. This statute was enacted in 1934 after the 20th Amendment changed the date for the presidential inauguration from March 4 to January 20.

    The people have the right, under the U.S. Constitution, to vote for U.S. Representatives. The 17th Amendment (ratified in 1913) gave the people the right to vote for U.S. Senators (who were elected by state legislatures under the original Constitution). The people, however, have no federal constitutional right to vote for President or Vice President or for their state’s members of the Electoral College. Instead, the Constitution (Article II, section 1, clause 2) provides:

    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress….”

    As the U.S. Supreme Court observed in the 1892 case of McPherson v. Blacker:

    “The constitution does not provide that the appointment of electors shall be by popular vote, nor that the electors shall be voted for upon a general ticket, nor that the majority of those who exercise the elective franchise can alone choose the electors.” …

    “In short, the appointment and mode of appointment of electors belong exclusively to the states under the constitution of the United States.”

    In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore reiterated the principle that the people have no federal constitutional right to vote for President or Vice President or for their state’s members of the Electoral College..

    “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College.”

    The Constitution’s delegation of power to the states to choose the manner of selecting their members of the Electoral College is unusually unconstrained. It contrasts significantly with the limitations contained in the Constitution on state power over the manner of conducting congressional elections (Article II, section 4, clause 1).

    “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations….”

    In a 1919 case involving a state statute entitled “An act granting to women the right to vote for presidential electors,” the Maine Supreme Judicial Court wrote (In re Opinion of the Justices):

    “[E]ach state is thereby clothed with the absolute power to appoint electors in such manner as it may see fit, without any interference or control on the part of the federal government, except, of course, in case of attempted discrimination as to race, color, or previous condition of servitude….”



    Certificate of Ascertainment showing that Wyoming cast its three electoral votes for the Bush-Cheney ticket because that state received more popular votes in Wyoming than any other state.


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