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Mass. Speaker backs national popular vote push

// Published July 1, 2008
BOSTON (AP) - House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi says he supports an initiative to bypass the Electoral College and guarantee the winner of the popular vote nationally is elected president.

The "National Popular Vote" initiative is aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2000 election, when Al Gore got the most votes nationwide but George W. Bush put together enough victories in key states to win a majority in the Electoral College.

DiMasi said the change would take away some of the "quirkiness and nuances" of the election process.

Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey have already approved the initiative. Critics of the proposal say it could reduce the influence of smaller states.

The Electoral College is set up by the Constitution to make the final decision on who becomes president. States get one electoral vote for each member of their congressional delegation.

Under the initiative, states would give their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner.

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