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John J. Pitney, Jr.
Electoral College Dropout? « Back to Story

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Nice thread hijack, toto. You could have actually added meaningful dialog to the debate if you didn't spam us to death with a bunch of talking-points.

I'll care about a one-man, one-vote system when states and localities actually get serious about maintaining their voting databases, and ensure that my vote isn't marginalized by the voting dead.
When rehashing the 2000 presidential election, many overlook that Al Gore failed to carry his home state, and that of the president he served with for eight years, Bill Clinton. Had Gore carried these two states, the vote in Florida would have been moot.
You can draw nightmare scenarios both ways. The bottom line is that the current system makes some Americans' votes worth more than others. The NPV would make every American's vote equal. An American is an American is an American. Pass the NPV.
If you're referring to Hispanics, I don't see that support by Hispanics in California has been noted. Hispanics in California in presidential elections are ignored under the current system.

In the states polled, where support by Hispanics was specifically noted, their support was 51% in AK, 80% in AR, 75% in CO, 79% in CT, 67% in DE, 50% in DC, 79% in FL, 86% in IA, 66% in MA, 64% in MI, 75% in NE, 80% in NV, 83% in NM, 86% in NY, 75% in NC, 75% in OH, 80% in OR, 71% in PA, 54% in RI, 57% in VT, and 60% in WA.

The National Popular Vote bill has been endorsed by the National Latino Congreso.

Under the current system, battleground states are the only states that matter in presidential elections. Campaigns are tailored to address the issues that matter to voters in these states.

Safe red and blue states are considered a waste of time, money and energy to candidates. These "spectator" states receive no campaign attention, visits or ads. Their concerns are utterly ignored.

The influence of minority voters has decreased tremendously as the number of battleground states dwindles.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections, and included in the national count that determines the candidate with the most popular votes, who then is guaranteed the majority of electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.
The compact also would seem to disenfranchise the growing "minority" population in California, making their contribution to Presidential elections largely depend upon how the "white" midwest and south vote. I wonder, Dr. Pitney, if you have similar thoughts? Whether others do?
When the National Popular Vote bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), ALL THE ELECTORAL VOTES FROM THE ENACTING STATES WOULD BE AWARDED TO THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WHO RECEIVES THE MOST POPULAR VOTES IN ALL 50 STATES AND DC. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the "canvas") in what is called a "Certificate of Ascertainment."
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008/certificates-of-ascertainment.html

With National Popular Vote, the chief election official of each member state shall add the votes from the Certificates of Ascertainment together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate.


Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years under the National Popular Vote approach. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.
By my reading of the interstate compact (at http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/misc/888wordcompact.php) it doesn't say that the number of electors selected for each candidate has to be proportional to the national vote count for each candidate on the ballot. It just says that the slate has to be in accordance with the national vote winner. Conceivably states could still implement something akin to winner-take-all with this language, using the national vote count to determine who gets the electors as opposed to their state's vote total, because the chief election official could say that they have complied with the law, appointing a slate that is in accordance with the national vote winner. I think this would be an extreme interpretation, but I see it as a possibility.

It says that the official, "shall add such votes together to produce a 'national popular vote total' for each presidential slate." It puts "national popular vote total" in quotes, which suggests to me that this is up for interpretation. It does say, "each presidential slate," but it doesn't say how the electors should be apportioned according to the vote. It doesn't prescribe a method for creating this total, leaving the definition nebulous. The state election official will be left to determine it by their own discretion. It tries to insure against coming up with a tie by whatever method the official uses to determine the "total," saying that if that occurs, the official must determine the slate by the winner of the popular vote in their state. What if there's a tie within their own state, which is actually more likely in the case of a national tie? The reason there would be a tie nationally is there are a bunch of states where the candidates were very close. There's even the possibility that it could turn out like the 2000 election all over again. After all, Bush won Florida with just a few hundred votes. If the idea was to try to prevent electoral victories that contradict the popular vote in a close election, like 2000, this measure doesn't insure that it would never happen again.

In terms of coming up with an elector count for the 2nd and 3rd place candidates, it doesn't say much. In effect it says, "Do what you want" with those candidates. If a state wanted to ding a 2nd place candidate, perhaps as a protest against an incumbent, saying that a third party candidate (Nader got about 3% of the national vote in 2000) got a significant number of votes nationally and in their state (which happened for Nader in a few states), and so should get one elector, or perhaps more, in a state like CA, denying the 2nd place finisher those votes, they could conceivably do that. There's nothing really saying they couldn't. In light of this, I think it's destructive in the political scene to say that this measure would "make every vote count." I agree that it would probably do more of that than our current system, but to heighten the expectation, only to have it not live up to it, I think doesn't improve matters over what we have now, because we'd still have people (though they'd be losers in the election) complaining that the votes weren't apportioned the way they should have been, that voters were disenfranchised, and that candidates were denied votes by corrupt election officials.

The reason I prefer a proportional system over winner-take-all is it preserves the system of having states vote for the president, so that the way that a state votes has an influence, and people all across the country would see how communities voted. It divides up the electors in a way that's closer to how different parts of a state vote. There's nothing saying that a proportional system would have to go by congressional district. I think that the two states that do it have just done it that way because it's most convenient for the state apparatus to count votes.

The very idea that a majority of people in my state could vote one way, and yet my state could appoint electors that voted the other way, because that's what the national vote total said, is offensive to me. I want the way that people in my state voted represented in presidential elections.

The main reason in our current system that there's very little variation in how the electoral vote turns out is that most voters tend to vote one way, election after election. If it changes, it changes very slowly. If people were more independently minded we'd see less of this. In my mind the 2000 election was an anomaly. The last time it happened was in the 19th century. If it were the norm I'd give National Popular Vote more consideration.
Can we please stop trying to redo the 2000 election?
Extensive comments can be found at

http://www.city-journal.org/comments/index.php?story=7319ₙ
The Founders would've cringed at that idea, of our current electoral system where 2/3rds of the states and voters are completely politically irrelevant. They would have been against it.

Under a national popular vote, with every vote equal, candidates will truly have to care about the issues and voters in all 50 states. A vote in any state will be as sought after as a vote in Florida. Part of the genius of the Founding Fathers was allowing for change as needed. When they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t give us the right to vote, or establish state-by-state winner-take-all, or establish any method, for how states should award electoral votes... Fortunately, the Constitution allowed state legislatures to enact laws allowing people to vote and how to award electoral votes.
The National Popular Vote website and materials do not deride the Electoral College as an old relic, a clumsy system, and do not advocate for a constitutional amendment.

The National Popular Vote bill uses the Constitution’s built-in state-based method for changing the method of awarding electoral votes, namely section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution:
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”

The Electoral College is the set of electors who vote for presidential candidates.

There is nothing in the Constitution that requires states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all or any of their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

If it were the case that the states are precluded from using any method of awarding electoral votes that was not specifically “imagined” by the Founders, then the winner-take-all method must similarly be precluded. No historian, or anyone else of whom we are aware, has ever argued that the Founders expected, or wanted, 100% of a state’s presidential electors to vote slavishly, in lockstep, for the choice for President made by an extra-constitutional meeting (namely a political party’s national nominating meeting). The winner-take-all rule was never debated or voted upon by the 1787 Constitutional Convention. There is unanimous agreement among historians that the Founding Fathers intended and expected that the Electoral College would operate as a deliberative body.

In recent elections, using current state winner-take-all awarding of electoral votes, 2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

States have the responsibility to make their voters relevant in every presidential election.

National Popular Vote believes state action is the right way to change the method of awarding electoral votes because the U.S. Constitution provides a built-in mechanism for this specific purpose.

Under the National Popular Vote plan states would retain their exclusive and plenary power to choose the method of awarding their electoral votes, including the option to make other changes in the future.

State action offers several advantages over a federal constitutional amendment.

It is far easier to amend state legislation than to amend or repeal a constitutional amendment if some “unintended consequence” materializes or some adjustment becomes advisable.

The National Popular Vote compact leaves untouched the states’ existing power to control presidential elections. Most of the constitutional amendments concerning the Electoral College that have been introduced and debated in Congress over the years were written so as to take away state control over presidential elections and give it to Congress. The Founders were suspicious of a sitting President who might, in conjunction with a compliant legislative branch, try to manipulate the method of conducting presidential elections in a politically advantageous manner. As a “check and balance” on the central government, the Founders dispersed the power to control presidential elections among the states, knowing that no single “faction” would simultaneously be in power in all the states. Section 1 of Article II is not a historical accident or mistake, but was intended as a “check and balance” on a sitting President who, with a compliant Congress, might be inclined to manipulate election rules to perpetuate himself in office.


National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a "republican" form of government or is a "democracy."

In a republic, the citizens do not rule directly but, instead, elect officeholders to represent them and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.
A "republican" form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a republican form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).
The 2 states that don't use winner-take-all do not use a proportional system.

The congressional district method of awarding electoral votes is currently used in Maine and Nebraska. It does not and would not help make every vote matter. In NC, for example, there are only 4 of the 13 congressional districts that would be close enough to get any attention from presidential candidates. In California, the presidential race is competitive in only 3 of the state's 53 districts. A smaller fraction of the country's population lives in competitive congressional districts (about 12%) than in the current battleground states (about 30%) that now get overwhelming attention, while two-thirds of the states are ignored Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.


Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.

If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own,, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

If the whole-number proportional approach had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.

A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President.
Correction: My first encounter with this issue was two years ago, not three. Not sure when the National Vote campaign got started.
Interesting. I wrote about this 3 years ago on my blog, and I see the same commenting tactic used. I also got spammed with a bunch of comments by one commenter, giving the National Popular Vote talking points. I appreciate that the comments are lengthy and rich with content, but why the need to post so many? Why not write up pro-National Popular Vote articles and post them on the web, and refer people to them via. URLs? The campaign has a web site at http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/ where they could do this. I don't see why there's a need to post so many comments here except to create the impression among casual readers that there is more support for it than there is.

I think most of the legal arguments which allow for this scheme to take effect are valid. States are allowed to allocate their electors however they'd like, but the people who make those rules, state legislators, are elected by the citizenry, at least those who know who their state rep. is. If they allocate electors in a way their citizens don't like, those representatives can be voted out. Guess what? That process created the situation we have today, where most electors are allocated winner-take-all. Two states allocate their electoral votes proportionately according to each state's voter results. I'd prefer that to the the National Popular Vote system.

It may be that the National Popular Vote will be seen as a better idea by voters. I suspect most voters won't be aware of it if and until it comes into effect, because from what I've seen it only gets talked about among people who pay attention to what our state governments are doing, which is not that many people.

I have some objections to the agenda of this campaign. The Electoral College has been derided as an old relic, a clumsy system. I suspect some say that about the Constitution as well. It creates messy situations, and does not allow the smooth and efficient flow of government operations, and of exercising the people's will. I have a news flash for you--this was *intentional*! The Founders did not want an efficient government, because they saw that as dangerous to people's freedom. Any measure that touts the idea of making government more efficient should be regarded with suspicion. The reason being there are follow-on intended and unintended consequences that are not immediately known to most people.

One of the reasons the Electoral College was created was the Founders were not comfortable with "mob rule," rule by popular majority. Yes, they were uncomfortable with democracy! I can't recall the exact quote, but one of our Founders was known to say something to the effect of, "I'd rather be ruled by a tyrant 100 miles away than by a thousand tyrants 10 miles away." When the country began, the only officers of government the people could directly elect to national office were their representatives in the House. Senators were selected by state legislators. The president was selected by electors who voted in the Electoral College, which were generally selected by popular vote by each state. They considered a national popular vote for the president, but they were not comfortable with it. They thought that made the country too vulnerable to popular passions of the day, which they knew were fickle, and tended to be irrational. They wanted the people's voice to be heard, but they wanted the processes of government also to be somewhat isolated from that voice, so that thoughtful consideration could be given to issues of the day, including who our president should be. One of the things they worried about was if after the presidential election, something previously unknown was disclosed about the winning candidate that would irrevocably damage his credibility, or make him unable to perform his duties in full in the interests of the country, they wanted there to be some relief mechanism where another candidate could be chosen. Their solution was to have voters vote for electors, not the president.

When I brought this up 3 years ago, I was told by a supporter of National Popular Vote that this idea of electors as a buffer is just academic, since political supporters and close friends of the candidates are chosen as electors. That's usually the case. However, in 1992, when independent candidate Ross Perot ran for president, and had a fair chance of winning had he not made some rash decisions, some of his electors were interviewed before the presidential election, and they said publicly that they would not vote for him if he won, thinking him too dangerous for the country. The voters apparently agreed, but the outcome didn't have to come out that way.

I see from the talking points the campaign is saying that the National Popular Vote preserves the Electoral College, but the whole point of this measure is to make the Electoral College politically irrelevant so that it can be abolished down the road. It is disingenuous of the campaign to say otherwise.

We have gradually taken away many of the restraints on democracy over the years. This is yet another effort to expand it. We have been acculturated with time to believe that "America is a democracy." The Founders would've cringed at that idea, and would have been against it. They thought that a republic with limited democratic processes would lead to a free and stable country. We have the power to totally do away with our republican form of government and implement popular democracy if we want, but I am against that idea. The Founders understood from looking at history that popular democracies do not survive long.
In a 2008 survey of 2,004 California adult residents interviewed from October 12-19, 2008, 70% of California residents and likely voters supported this change. Democrats (76%) and independents (74%) were more likely to support a change to direct popular vote than Republicans, but 61% of Republicans also supported this change. Among likely voters, support for this change was 6 points higher than in October 2004 (64%).

Most voters don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans consider the idea of the candidate with the most popular votes being declared a loser detestable. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large population states, including one house in Arkansas(6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia, Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (29), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island (4), Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (19), New Jersey (14), Maryland (11), Massachusetts (10), Vermont (3), and Washington (13). These eight jurisdictions have 77 electoral votes -- 29% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

Any attempt by a state to pull out of the compact in violation of its terms would violate the Impairments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and would be void. Such an attempt would also violate existing federal law. Compliance would be enforced by Federal court action

The bill says: "Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term."

The National Popular Vote compact is, first of all, a state law. It is a state law that would govern the manner of choosing presidential electors. A Secretary of State may not ignore or override the National Popular Vote law any more than he or she may ignore or override the winner-take-all method that is currently the law in 48 states.

There has never been a court decision allowing a state to withdraw from an interstate compact without following the procedure for withdrawal specified by the compact. Indeed, courts have consistently rebuffed the occasional (sometimes creative) attempts by states to evade their obligations under interstate compacts.
Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the "canvas") in what is called a "Certificate of Ascertainment." You can see the Certificates of Ascertainment for all 50 states and the District of Columbia containing the official count of the popular vote at the NARA web site at
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008/certificates-of-ascertainment.html

Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be elected by a popular vote.

The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary disputes.

A nationwide recount would not happen. We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and recount. The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.

Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years under the National Popular Vote approach. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush's lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore's nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the miniscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes), no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Under both the current system and the National Popular Vote approach, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach a "final determination" prior to the meeting of the Electoral College. In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states are expected to make their "final determination" six days before the Electoral College meets.
Congressional consent is not required for the National Popular Vote compact under prevailing U.S. Supreme Court rulings. However, because there would undoubtedly be time-consuming litigation about this aspect of the compact, National Popular Vote is working to introduce a bill in Congress for congressional consent.

The U.S. Constitution provides:

"No state shall, without the consent of Congress,… enter into any agreement or compact with another state…."

Although this language may seem straight forward, the U.S. Supreme Court has method, in 1893 and again in 1978, that the Compacts Clause can "not be read literally." In deciding the 1978 case of U.S. Steel Corporation v. Multistate Tax Commission, the Court wrote:

"Read literally, the Compact Clause would require the States to obtain congressional approval before entering into any agreement among themselves, irrespective of form, subject, duration, or interest to the United States.

"The difficulties with such an interpretation were identified by Mr. Justice Field in his opinion for the Court in [the 1893 case] Virginia v. Tennessee. His conclusion [was] that the Clause could not be read literally [and this 1893 conclusion has been] approved in subsequent dicta."

Specifically, the Court's 1893 ruling in Virginia v. Tennessee stated:

"Looking at the clause in which the terms 'compact' or 'agreement' appear, it is evident that the prohibition is directed to the formation of any combination tending to the increase of political power in the states, which may encroach upon or interfere with the just supremacy of the United States."

The state power involved in the National Popular Vote compact is specified in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 the U.S. Constitution:

"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors…."

In the 1892 case of McPherson v. Blacker (146 U.S. 1), the Court wrote:

"The appointment and mode of appointment of electors belong exclusively to the states under the constitution of the United States"

The National Popular Vote compact would not "encroach upon or interfere with the just supremacy of the United States" because there is simply no federal power -- much less federal supremacy -- in the area of awarding of electoral votes in the first place.
There is nothing in the Constitution that requires states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution, and enacting National Popular Vote would not need an amendment. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections, and included in the national count that determines the candidate with the most popular votes, who then is guaranteed the majority of electoral votes needed to win the presidency. It gives a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that, only 7-14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Candidates will not care about at least 72% of the voters-- voters in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and in 16 medium and big states like California, GA, NY, and TX. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. In 2008, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

Now, policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing, too.

Since World War II, a shift of only a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections. 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 Million votes. Some insider Republicans believe under the current system in 2012, President Obama could win the electoral vote without winning the popular vote.

The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

States have the responsibility to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action
If France, Mexico and other countries can hold a national popular vote for president, why can't the US do it? Furthermore, all 50 of the states elect their Governors with a popular vote.
If France, Mexico and other countries can hold a national popular vote for president, why can't the US do it? Furthermore, all 50 of the states elect their Governors with a popular vote.