What is the National Popular Vote movement?

Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Ever hear of it?


“The most significant development in generations that no one is talking about.” That’s what the Santa Barbara Independent (newspaper) called the National Popular Vote. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t. And I tend to pay attention to such things. So what is it?


It is a bipartisan idea that is making its way through our state legislatures. It is a contract between states that says when the total number of the group of states’ electoral votes reaches 270 – the number needed to elect a president – each participating state will cast all its elector’s votes for the candidate who has won the popular vote nationwide. This contract is only to go into effect when the participating states have a majority in the Electoral College, in other words, they have the number of votes between them to meet the requirements of the Electoral College to name a winner. Until that time, the contracted states will award their electoral votes in the usual way – winner take all – in their individual states.


Is this plan constitutional? Surprisingly, yes it is. Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives each state legislature the right to decide how to appoint its own electors. After a variety of changes in the early days of the republic, today only two states do not award their electoral votes to the candidate with the most votes within the boundaries of their state.

The NPV bill has become law in states possessing 165 electoral votes as of May 2015 (ten states and the District of Columbia). That is 61 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to put this contract into action. A bill is pending in the state of Oklahoma that would add seven electoral votes to the movement. At the rate states are passing this legislation, the number needed was expected be reached in time for the 2016 presidential election. But it has not. The block of red southern states has stymied this movement. If you live in one of these states and favor every vote counting - call, write, email your state legislators imploring them to move on this issue.

Seventy percent of people in this country say they favor the presidency being won by the candidate who gets the most votes – period. But sometimes that doesn’t happen. It didn’t happen in 2000 for the first time since 1888. George Bush was the fourth president to take office without winning the popular vote. His fellow presidents who entered the White House under the same circumstances were John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), and Benjamin Harrison (1888). Popular vote winners in those races were Al Gore, Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden, and Grover Cleveland.


The NPV would guarantee it never happens again. But that is not the only factor prompting this change. Under our current system more than three quarters of the electorate is discounted by the candidates. They live in states that are overwhelmingly populated by voters committed to one party or the other – solid blue or solid red. In recent executive campaign seasons it has come down to nine states that have concerned the major candidates and their considerable resources. And some version of that scenario happens in every election, not a mere four. The NPV would mean every vote counts in every state. No voter can be written off as insignificant. One person. One vote.


Thirty-one state legislative chambers have passed a bill essentially signing this contract with the other states. For consistency I’m referring to these chambers as House and Senate even though some states refer to their House chamber in other terms.


Arkansas House

California Senate

California House

Colorado House

Colorado Senate

Connecticut House

Delaware House

District of Columbia Council

Hawaii House

Hawaii Senate

Illinois House

Illinois Senate

Maine Senate

Maryland House

Maryland Senate

Massachusetts House

Massachusetts Senate

Michigan House

Nevada House

New Jersey House

New Jersey Senate

New Mexico House

New York Senate

North Carolina Senate

Oregon House

Rhode Island House

Rhode Island Senate

Vermont House

Vermont Senate

Washington House

Washington Senate


Legislation has been introduced in Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio. The issue is at least being debated in committee in every state in the union.










EBooks by Kathleen Cochran

More by this Author


Comments 23 comments

ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

The electoral college process is one that takes the one person one vote concept and grounds it. The electoral college should be abolished.


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 4 years ago from Worcester

The only thing the electoral College has going for it is tradition. When it originated, this country was a lot different than it is today. I'm in favor of the popular vote determaining the President


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

This may be our chance to do that. If you live in a state that hasn't passed this bill yet, write your state representative and senator - maybe even your governor. Thanks for these quick comments. I'm looking forward to more responses. This issue was news to me.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 4 years ago from Irvine

I have to agree with ib radmasters. Rather than fiddle with how Electoral votes are counted or assigned, I think we should throw this antiquated system into the trash heap of history. The statement, "It is a contract between states that says when the total number of the group of states’ electoral votes reaches 270 – the number needed to elect a president – each participating state will cast all its elector’s votes for the candidate who has won the popular vote nationwide." This is kind of scary. It suggests that early voters will have their vote count in the Electoral total, while later voters will have their votes dismissed or not even tallied. I also do not see how the states using this proposed system would mesh with the old, existing method for declaring a winner.

I think the Electoral College should simply be buried in a deep grave without a headstone. Because of the highly suspicious methods of determining districts and/or redistricting, the Electoral College can tilt an election process.

I think we should turn the US into a TRUE democracy and have constituents vote directly for their favorite candidate, and allow the candidate with the majority of votes to win the election.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Excellent and insightful hub Kathleen. I have never understood why each and every vote does not matter. I think we need to have the popular vote count, as then each person would know his or her vote - one vote - can make a difference.

Voted up, etc.

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

rjbatty: I think the authors of this effort agree with you wholeheartedly. Changing the Constitution is a huge endeavor. This effort is seen as a way to come up with the same result without having to move Heaven and Earth. It's kind of like getting Al Capone on income tax evasion. I think its good to know the Founding Fathers gave us a way to get out of this bind if we choose to. I'm hoping encough states choose to.

Faith Reaper: Thanks for your consistent encouragement and for your comments.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Really good information here Katheleen. I am still angry about 2000, hanging chads and all that. I am glad to see the Oregon House has passed this and will contact state Senators and the Gov to see where they stand.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

xstatic: I'm convinced when people hear about this opportunity, they will seize it. Thanks for your comments.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I thought I was over the disappointment of the 2000 election, but watching Al Gore concede brought back tears. I believe he should have been our President. I believe in the popular vote, not the electoral college. I hope it is abolished. Thank you very much for this informative hub..


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

always exploring: Thanks for commenting so thoughtfully. If your state is not onboard with this change, write your state representative and senator - even your governor to support this initiative. Thanks again.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

An extremely important sate political initiative. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Kathleen. We should be harassing, I mean contacting, our legislators to motivate them to pass this bill and sign it into law. This is long over due. Now is the time. SHARING.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago

I am in favor of having an election based on popular vote. But if this was the case this year, then it would be interesting to see if the election was postponed. Due to Sandy, turnout is likely to be supressed in New Jersey and New York, which are heavily Democratic states. Since Obama will win both states anyway, it has not become an important issue. But it does increase the likelihood that Obama wins the electoral college but loses the popular vote. So if popular vote mattered, then there might be an argument for postponing the election.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Freeway Flyer: I think we have to be willing to take the good and the bad on the popular vote issue and let the chips fall where they may. In the longrun I believe we will be better off.

They have made it possible for the people in the affected states to vote at any polling place they can get to, by email or fax. It may take more than the usual amount of effort to cast your vote this time, but hopefully (whoever wins) people with make the effort.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

The Electoral College Process detracts from the one person one vote. The electorates are appointed by congress, and that is essentially congress electing the president.

We the people, not we the congress, nor the electorates should pick the president.

California is an example of thirty seven million people casting all or nothing, or in the case of popular vote it is mostly democrat. That means a vote other than democrat is thrown away.

The founders couldn't possibly have foreseen the way that the electoral college has been manipulated against We The People.

It is a national election and all of the votes should be counted, not the summary of the states.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I live in Georgia and here it is just the opposite of California. Any vote other than Republican is thrown away. Hopefully, this recent election was the last time.

The founding fathers couldn't have foreseen television, the Internet, airplanes and telephones - much less Twitter and SKYPE. The electoral college has outlived its purpose.

Thanks for reading and commenting on this issue.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Kathleen

So true


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Kathleen - Is there an update that could be done for this hub? Has the number of states who have approved increased? Maybe explicitly encourage people to contact their congressman. This is important and deserves more attention. SHARING. Theresa


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

This hub is not six months old and most state legislatures are in session right now. I'll keep an eye on it and probably do an update by Easter. Thanks for your interest.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

I've been saying for years that the electoral college system needs to be abolished, and have a simple one person-one vote concept instead.

This comes very close, and it is important. I would have to go back and re-study past history to figure out why the non-popular-vote winners in the 1800's did not win the presidency, but I can virtually guarantee that there was some kind of underhanded business/fraud involved with the Al Gore incident.

Voted up, interesting, useful, shared and pinned. Too bad there is not an "important--must read" button as well!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

DzyMsLizzy: Thanks for the recommendation. I'm wondering what the impact will be when this movement takes effect in (possibly) the next election and so many Americans never heard of it? I'm also wondering what the media coverage will be like? I hope they start covering it early enough for people to be aware of what is happening, so they can lend their support!


handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

Electoral college is system that is no longer needed. The popular vote is what should count. One person one vote.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

handymanbill: PA is not on the list, so write your state rep/senator and tell them how you feel. Thanks for commenting.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 22 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

The link to Newt Gingrich's endorsement in 2014:

http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/misc/ging...

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working