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Election Reform With Popular Vote Movement Gains Steam

February 25, 2019

Nationwide there are continuing efforts to make the electoral process more accountable and representative of voter’s wishes.

Democrats in Colorado and New Mexico are pushing ahead with legislation to pledge their 14 collective electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote — no matter who wins each state. The plan only goes into effect if the law passes in states representing an electoral majority. That threshold is 270 votes, which is the same number needed to win the presidency. … Proponents of the national popular vote measures have argued that it’s not political, but Republicans, who have benefited in recent elections from the Electoral College system, disagree. … So far, 11 states — including New York, California and New Jersey — have joined the effort along with the District of Columbia, putting the effort 98 votes short of its goal.

Koza said the rules are why presidential candidates only campaign in a handful of states. He recognized what might be a potential loophole in the Constitution — that while the Electoral College is in the Constitution, nothing says a candidate who wins a state has to get all of its electoral votes.

“The political power to the choose the president was basically given by the founders to the state legislatures,” Koza said. “And over the years they’ve passed different laws specifying how to allocate their state’s electoral votes.”

In fact, Maine and Nebraska do not have “winner-take-all” systems. They allocate their electoral votes to presidential candidates by congressional district, with an additional two electoral votes going to the winner of the state.

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