A nationwide plan to abolish the electoral college is quickly making serious progress. Already, states with 132 electors have pledged their electoral votes to the winner of the National Popular Vote. States with 62 more electors have now introduced legislation to join them, with more states within reach. And the Oregon house has now passed that legislation, with a Democratic senate and Democratic governor expected to support it. All these electoral votes will be awarded to the national popular vote winner once states representing 270 electoral votes join the plan, and with Oregon added to the total, we're about to pass the halfway point. With 270 electoral votes automatically going to the winner of the national popular vote, the electoral college will, for all intents and purposes, be over as the system by which we vote for president. The winner of the national popular vote will win the White House. This doesn't take a constitutional amendment: All states have the authority to decide how to award their electors.
The new activity has been prompted in response to a multi-state Republican effort, endorsed by the head of the RNC, to split the electoral votes of Democratic states while retaining winner-take-all in Republican states, blocking Democratic candidates from gaining an electoral majority. Under the new scheme, Obama would have lost the last election despite winning nearly 5 million more votes. After causing an uproar, Republicans went silent on their plans, but nothing has happened to stop the GOP from moving forward in the months prior to the next presidential election, when there conveniently won't be any time left for referendums and repeals.
The only real way to stop the Republican plan is to act first. And you can help make that happen.
The following 132 EVs worth of states have passed the National Popular Vote plan:
• California (55 EVs)
• Illinois (20)
• New Jersey (14)
• Washington (12)
• Massachusetts (11)
• Maryland (10)
• Hawaii (4)
• Vermont (3)
• DC (3)
And 62 EVs worth states have introduced new legislation so far this year:
The characteristic all these states have in common is that they're Democratically controlled, or they were when the law passed. It shouldn't be this way, as "one person, one vote" is as bipartisan as possible, but when Republicans are promoting "half-states for thee, whole states for me," you can see how "the candidate with the most votes wins" could lack Republican support. 12 more EVs worth of states are Democratically controlled, but haven't yet introduced legislation:
• Colorado (9 EVs)
• Delaware (3)
There's one more possible state, with a Democratic governor, overwhelmingly Democratic house, and the barest possible majority for Republicans in the senate:
• New Hampshire (4 EVs)
You might think New Hampshire is unlikely because it has outsized status in presidential elections under the current system, but that's only in the primary, which has nothing to do with the electoral college. New Hampshire used to be considered a swing state in general elections, but it's gone increasingly blue, and doesn't see much love from the candidates after the primary anymore.
Adding these states with the exception of New Hampshire would get us to 206 EVs with 64 to go. It's possible that there are enough Republicans in other states who could be persuaded that a national popular vote will make their state matter in presidential elections again, or that it's simply a fairer system. But to get to 270, in all likelihood, will take ballot initiatives. Fortunately, polling shows Democrats, Republicans and independents all want to abolish the electoral college, by 66-30%, 61-30% and 63-29% margins, respectively. But we can expect Republican voters to change their minds once Fox News and the GOP echo chamber tell them it's an unconstitutional, undemocratic, anti-American liberal plot. We can also hope Democratic and independent support rises once voters see what Republicans are up to. Here, then, are five more states, the states Obama won that have workable initiative processes:
• Florida (29 EVs)
• Ohio (18)
• Michigan (16)
• Nevada (6)
• Maine (4)
Adding these states and their 73 EVs would total 279 EVs, 9 EVs past the goal.
There are also some long-shot states — red states with constitutional initiative processes — that we can fall back on in case some blue states prove intractable. Here they are, in order of narrowest 2012 loss for Obama:
• Arizona (11 EVs) -9% margin
• Missouri (10) -9%
• Mississippi (6) -12%
• Montana (3) -14%
• South Dakota (3) -18%
• North Dakota (3) -20%
• Nebraska (5) -22%
• Arkansas (6) -24%
• Oklahoma (7) -34%
What you can do to help is to contact governors, legislatures and state Democratic parties and get them on board. We also need to contact the DNC to get them organizing with the states on NPV. We're already seeing so much progress. This really is possible.
TALKING POINT FOR DEMOCRATIC CONTACTS:
Hi! As you may know, the national Republican party has endorsed an effort to make it all but impossible for Democrats to win the White House, by splitting up the electoral votes of Democratic states, while keeping Republican states winner-take-all. Under the plan, Obama would have lost to Romney despite winning nearly 5 million more votes. ( tinyurl.com/gopscheme ) But there's one way to prevent this from happening, which is to switch from the electoral college to a national popular vote. It doesn't take a constitutional amendment: Several states have already made the switch to a national popular vote. ( nationalpopularvote.com ) I'm urging you to please read about and support the national popular vote in order to prevent Republicans from exploiting loopholes in the electoral college. Thank you very much!
TALKING POINT FOR REPUBLICAN CONTACTS:
Did you know that several states are passing legislation to replace the electoral college with a national popular vote? This would ensure our state always matters in presidential elections, meaning candidates would have to pay attention to our issues, the billions spent on presidential campaigns would flow through our state, and we, the voters, would feel like our voices matter. It doesn't take a constitutional amendment, because each state gets to decide for itself how to award its electoral votes. ( nationalpopularvote.com ) I'm urging you to please read about and support the national popular vote plan. Thank you very much!
EVERYONE: Contact the DNC and urge them to support the National Popular Vote project.
CONNECTICUT: Contact Governor Malloy, the Democratic Party of Connecticut and your state senator and representative (scroll down after submitting) and urge them to support and ensure a vote for HB6163 and SB432, the state's National Popular Vote legislation.
FLORIDA: Contact the Florida Democratic Party and urge them to support a National Popular Vote amendment.
MAINE: Contact the Maine Democratic Party and urge them to support a National Popular Vote initiative.
MICHIGAN: Contact the Michigan Democratic Party and urge them to support a National Popular Vote amendment.
MINNESOTA: Contact Governor Dayton, the Minnesota DFL Party, and your state senator and representative and urge them to support and ensure a vote for HF799 and SF585, the state's National Popular Vote legislation.
NEW YORK: Contact Governor Cuomo, the New York State Democratic Committee, and your state senator and assembly member and urge them to support and ensure a vote for A4422 and S3149, the state's National Popular Vote legislation.
NEVADA: Contact the Nevada Democratic Party and urge them to support a National Popular Vote initiative.
OHIO: Contact the Ohio Democratic Party and urge them to support a National Popular Vote amendment.
RHODE ISLAND: Contact the Rhode Island Democratic Party and your state senator and representative and urge them to support and ensure a vote for H5575 and S346, the state's National Popular Vote legislation.
WEST VIRGINIA: Contact Governor Tomblin, the West Virginia Democratic Party and your state senator and delegate and urge them to support and ensure a vote for SB199, the senate's National Popular Vote legislation, as well as a house version.