National Popular Vote

All voters should be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live. Our current Electoral College system, grounded in state laws which allocate electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, leads presidential candidates to concentrate their resources on voters in a handful of swing states, relegating the vast majority of the country to spectator status. Instead, we should elect the president by a national popular vote—and there's a state-based, constitutional way to do so: The National Popular Vote interstate compact.

The Constitution gives states full control over how they allocate their electoral votes. The current winner-take-all method, in which the winner of the statewide popular vote wins all of that state's electoral votes, is a choice—and states can choose differently. Under the National Popular Vote interstate compact, states choose to allocate their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC. This compact takes effect only when enough states sign on to guarantee that the national popular vote winner wins the presidency. That means states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes—a majority of the Electoral College—must join the compact for it to take effect.

The National Popular Vote plan has bipartisan support and has been introduced in all 50 state legislatures. To date, 10 states and DC have passed legislation to enter the compact for a combined total of 165 electoral votes, meaning the compact is over 60% of the way to activation

FairVote supports the National Popular Vote plan to ensure that every vote for president is equally valued no matter where it is cast. FairVote's executive director Rob Richie co-authored Every Vote Equal, a book explaining how the National Popular Vote plan would work and why the United States urgently needs it. FairVote regularly generates research and analysis about problems with current methods of allocating electoral votes and the promise of the National Popular Vote plan. Here are links to Rob's November 2016 appearances on Democracy Now and NPR's On the Media. For more information and to find ways to get involved, contact National Popular Vote.

Click on a topic to begin.

Endorsers of the NPV Plan

Formal endorsements of the National Popular Vote Plan include the following. Web-based versions of these endorsements can be found via the links provided.

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Statement on the National Popular Vote
  • Asian American Action Fund (AAA-Fund) - AAA-Fund's endorsement of National Popular Vote
  • Brennan Center for Justice - Read a commentary from Brennan Executive Director Michael Waldman
  • Common Cause - Common Cause and several of its state branches have been active partners from the news conference announcing the plan in February 2006
  • Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund
  • Demos - Statement
  • Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action - Statement
  • League of Women Voters US (LWV) - The organization endorsed NPV at its June 2010 National Convention. Statement
  • MassVOTE - Statement
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - At its 2008 annual convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, the NAACP adopted a resolution (pdf, 54kb) in support of the proposition of a national popular vote for president in general and the National Popular Vote plan in particular. It won final approval of the NAACP board on October 17, 2008
  • National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) - In December 2006, the Judiciary Committee of the NBCSL unanimously adopted a resolution (pdf, 37kb) at its annual meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. It was adopted by acclamation on the floor
  • National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP) - The organization endorsed NPV in July 2010
  • National Latino Congreso (NLC)  - NLC passed a resolution (pdf, 56kb) with overwhelming support of NPV at its September 2006 conference
  • National Popular Vote - Website
  • Progressive States - Issue page
  • Public Citizen - Statement
  • Sierra Club - In February 2009, the Sierra Club published its resolution and formal endorsement of NPV
  • U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) - U.S. PIRG released a press release in March, 2009 supporting NPV
  • Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Backed 2009-2010 legislation, AB 751

Editorial Endorsements

The National Popular Vote plan has received wide support from newspapers around the country. Below are a few highlighted endorsements:

For a full list of editorial endorsements, visit the NPV website here.

Professors Support the National Popular Vote Plan

NPV also has the support of many professors of political science, government, election law, and related subjects. The following are individuals who have given FairVote their permission to list their names as endorsers of the following statement:

"We are current and retired professors who have taught political science, government, election law, or related subjects at colleges and universities in the United States. We support states entering into the National Popular Vote agreement for presidential elections."

John C. Berg, Professor of Government, Suffolk University

President, Northeast Political Science Association 2003-2004. Author of Unequal Struggle: Class, Gender, Race and Power in the US Congress

Ron Buckmire, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Occidental College

Author of a popular blog, also teaches classes in Occidental's Cultural Studies department

John M. Carey, Wentford Professor in the Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of Government, Dartmouth College

Author, Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics

Brian F. Crisp, Professor of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis

Author, Democratic Institutional Design

Thomas De Luca, Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies Program, Fordham University

Author, Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers! Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics

Todd Donovan, Professor of Political Science, Western Washington University

Author, Reforming the Republic: Democratic Institutions for the New America

Paul Finkelman, Senior Fellow in the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, University of Pennsylvania

Author of more than 200 scholarly articles and more than forty books, Paul Finkelman is a specialist in American legal history, race relations, slavery, and civil liberties. 

James A. Gardner, Distinguished Professor of Civil Justice, Director of Jaeckle Center for Law and Democracy, SUNY Buffalo Law School

Author, Election Law in the American Political System

Steven Greene, Associate Professor of Political Science, North Carolina State University

Author, The Politics of Parenthood: Causes and Consequences of the Politicization of the American Family

Bob Holmes, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Clark Atlanta University

Formerly the Director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Clark Atlanta University. State Representative in the Georgia General Assembly, 1974-2008

Elijah B.Z. Kaminsky, Professor of Political Science Emertius, Arizona State University

Author, On the Comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Governments

Alexander Keyssar, Professor of History and Social Policy, Kennedy School of Government-Harvard University

Author of award-winning book The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

Peter Levine, Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Tufts University

Director of CIRCLE: The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Arend Lijphart, Research Professor Emeritus, UC San Diego  

Former President of the American Political Science Association. Author of over a dozen books, including Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries

Michael McDonald, Associate Professor of Government and Political Science

Creator of website United State Elections Project, a valuable resource for academics and the media on voter turnout

Lorenzo Morris, Professor of Political Science, Howard University

Author, The Social and Political Implications of the Jesse Jackson Presidential Campaign

Jack Nagel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Author, Descriptive Analysis of Power. Chair of the University of Pennsylvania's Political Science Department from 2000-2003. Wrote an op-ed in 2011 endorsing NPV

Brendan Nyhan, Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

Author, All the President's Spin (New York Times bestselling book)

Perry J. Mitchell, Professor of Political Science (Retired), Northern Virginia Community College

Democratic Primary Candidate, Delaware State Senate, 2010

Jamin Raskin, Professor of Law and Director of Law and Government Program, American University Washington College of Law

Bestselling Author, Overruling Democracy: the Supreme Court versus the American People. State Senator in Maryland. See his blog supporting NPV on the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy website here

Howard Scarrow, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, SUNY Stony Brook

Author, Comparative Political Analysis: An Introduction

David Schultz, Adjunct Professor, Hamline University School of Law

Author, Lights, Camera, Campaign!: Media, Politics, and Political Advertising

Matthew Shugart, Professor of Political Science, UC Davis

Author, Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics                  

Rogers Smith, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylania

Author, Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama's America

Robert Smith, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University

Associate Editor, National Political Science Review

Leonard Steinhorn, Professor of Public Communication and Affiliate Professor of History, American University

Author, The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy

Todd Swanstrom, Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration, University of Missouri-St. Louis 

Author, Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century

Rein Taagepera, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, UC Irvine

Author, Predicting Party Sizes: The Logic of Simple Electoral Systems

Caroline Tolbert, Professor of Political Science, University of Iowa

Author, We the People

Joseph F. Zimmerman, Professor of Political Science, University of Albany Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Author, Contemporary American Federalism: The Growth of National Power and co-author, Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote

Frequently Asked Questions

See National Popular Vote for common questions and answers about the National Popular Vote interstate compact.

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