National Popular Vote: WA State Legislators on board?
If state legislatures from enough states agree, we can do away with the Electoral College and elect presidents by popular vote — thus avoiding the pernicious concentration of electioneering in swing states, as well as the real risk of electing a president who loses the popular vote.
Is the bill even being considered in the Washington State legislature?
“The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes — that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).”
Email from Common Cause:
The Electoral College needs fixing.
Under the National Popular Vote plan, the presidential candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC will become President.
Presidential campaigns routinely ignore Washington because electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most popular votes within each separate state. The result is that candidates ignore states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In 2008, two-thirds of the campaign events and money went into six closely divided “battleground” states. 98% went to 15 states, not including Washington. Thus, Washington state voters (and voters in 34 other reliably Democratic or reliably Republican states) are mere spectators to presidential elections.
Under a national popular vote, every voter in every state would matter in every presidential election. A vote in Washington state would matter as much as a vote in a battleground state such as Ohio or New Hampshire.
The states have the constitutional authority to change the method of awarding electoral votes and thereby establish a national popular vote for President. Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the states exclusive control over the manner of awarding their electoral votes: “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.”
If you believe that a vote cast in Washington state should count as much as a vote cast in a battleground state, please take a moment to email your Washington state legislators to tell them to support a National Popular Vote.
The National Popular Vote bill would mean that the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC) would become President. The current system has elected a second-place candidate in four of 56 presidential elections. Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in four of the 13 presidential elections.
The National Popular Vote bill is endorsed by Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, FairVote, Sierra Club, the Brennan Center for Justice, NAACP, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, ACLU, the National Latino Congreso, Asian American Action Fund, DEMOS, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.
The bill has been endorsed by newspapers such as the Hartford Courant, New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Sacramento Bee, and many more.
As the Sarasota Herald Tribune said: “The most compelling and practical alternative is promoted by a bipartisan group called National Popular Vote. The NPV proposal calls for legislatures to pass bills committing their state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide; the bill would take effect only when enacted by states that together have enough electoral votes to elect a president.”
Learn more at www.NationalPopularVote.com.
Thank you. Sincerely, Bob Edgar and the rest of the team at Common Cause
Common Cause is a national nonpartisan organization with chapters in 35 states. Our mailing address is 1133 19th Street NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036. Our phone number is (202) 833-1200.