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National Popular Vote


Equality is fundamental to representative democracy. Therefore, FairVote believes that American voters should be valued equally in presidential elections. 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.

FairVote advocates for a national popular vote for president, and has nurtured and supported 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. For more efforts on advocacy efforts, contact the organization National Popular Vote, which leads efforts in states to pass this critically important legislation.

What is the National Popular Vote plan?

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia). Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).

2013 2014 NPV States webThe bill has had bipartisan support. For example, the most recent state to enter the compact is New York, in April 2014. In the Republican-controlled New York Senate, the chamber approved of the bill 57-4, and majorities of both parties voted for the bill in both legislative chambers. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes - 61% of the 270 necessary to activate it. The bill has also passed 32 legislative chambers in 22 jurisdictions (including the District of Columbia.) A total of at least  2,110 state legislators have endorsed the bill as of April 2014.

Many governors have come out in favor of National Popular Vote. Read what they've said about the effort here

Many organizations have endorsed the National Popular Vote plan.  Learn more about it at our NPV Facts & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page

For more information on the National Popular Vote plan, including weekly updates and ways to get involved, please visit NationalPopularVote.com.

For a state-by-state history of the NPV legislation, see http://nationalpopularvote.com/map.php.




Download your free copy of the new 2013 edition of Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote, co-authored by FairVote's executive director Rob Richie, today!

Latest Blog Posts

National Popular Vote Reports

  • Pennsylvania's Proportional Electoral Vote Allocation Proposal: A Nationwide Analysis

    July 24, 2013

    FairVote's analysis shows that Pennsylvania state Sen. Dominic Pileggi's proportional electoral vote allocation plan would do little to make presidential elections fairer if implemented nationally.

  • Following the Money: Campaign Donations and Spending in the 2012 Presidential Race

    February 13, 2013

    As we’ve shown at FairVote in study after study, the great majority of people and states are ignored during the election for our country’s highest office. But in the 2012 election, every state was invested at least in one way – they all had residents who donated to and financed the two major party candidates’ campaigns. However, when it came down to the stretch run, the candidates did not reciprocate this national effort.  Instead, candidates concentrated their efforts in a small number of states and left the others as net exporters campaign contributions relative to campaign spending. This report takes a state-by-state look at the data.

Featured Analysis

FairVote regularly produces new graphics to visualize our analysis and make the case for electoral reform. Here is one done for reformers in Utah.  To view more factsheets and stats, see all of our Resources and Links.  

Download these fact sheets in PDF: Ohio vs. 25 Small StatesCalifornia vs. Western StatesUtah's non-Swing StatusRhode Island non-Swing Status