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.
The National Popular Vote (NPV) plan guarantees election of the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The NPV plan is a state statute in the form of an interstate compact. It creates an agreement among states to award all of their electoral votes collectively to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. This agreement takes effect only once the participating states together hold a majority of electoral votes (270 of 538)--guaranteeing that the winner of the national popular vote will win an Electoral College majority.
Passing NPV will guarantee election of the national popular vote winner once the compact has been joined by enough states to make it decisive for determining the outcome of future elections. Until that point, a state’s current rules apply.
State legislators have introduced NPV legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. NPV legislation has now been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes, or 61% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the compact.
Formal endorsements of the National Popular Vote Plan include the following. Web-based versions of these endorsements can be found via the links provided.
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.
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
See National Popular Vote for common questions and answers about the National Popular Vote interstate compact.