Posted on July 10, 2008On July 9, 2008 the Massachusetts State House passed bill H678, the National Popular Vote Bill, 117-39 votes. It became the 20th state legislative chamber to pass the bill.
The National Popular Vote was debated on the floor of the House July 1st and again on July 9th. Questions of the constitutionality of the bill (due to the nature of the states passing a national act without an amendment to the constitution) were suppressed as representatives referred to the historical practices of Massachusetts; such as giving women the right to vote and eliminating any voting taxes for the state before the constitutional amendments were passed (19th and 24th). Citing Massachusetts' tendency to do what's right for the people to ensure their rights, Rep. Charles Murphy, among others, addressed the issue of National Popular Vote as one not just for Massachusetts, but also for the nation. The states' individual practices of doing what is necessary and what is right motivate change at the federal level. Rep. Murphy argues that just because the federal government hasn't passed this kind legislation yet, it doesn't mean that the states should quietly wait for the federal government to do so. The states are taking the initiative and passing the National Popular Vote Bill because it is important for America. And as Rep. Murphy said, the federal government will catch up.
The National Popular Vote legislation is expected to be well received in the Massachusetts State Senate. Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) supports the bill. Governor Deval Patrick has not yet pledged his support, however, he said earlier this week that he supports the aim of the bill. If Massachusetts passes this legislation, the National Popular Vote Plan will have almost 25% of the support it needs to be effective in the 2012 presidential election.