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.

FairVote focuses on research and education. For advocacy efforts, contact the organization National Popular Vote, which leads the movement 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

For a state-by-state history of the NPV legislation, see




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

  • Oklahoma Voter Turnout Suffers without National Popular Vote Plan

    March 13, 2015

    OklahomaPicThe current Electoral College system -- one that Oklahoma state legislators have the power to help change -- leaves Oklahoma voters at a disadvantage during and between presidential elections. A comparison of voter turnout patterns in Oklahoma and Virginia tells the story, contradicting inaccurate analysis from an Oklahoma think tank.

  • Does the Candidate Determine the Battleground States in Presidential Elections?

    February 23, 2015

    Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speakings togetherMany are making predictions on which states will be battlegrounds in the 2016 presidential elections. Certainly a state's underlying partisanship matters. (The closer the state, the more likely it will draw campaign attention.) But do a candidate's individual qualities shape the states he or she targets, and how much?


  • Why Missouri Will Not Be a 2016 Presidential Campaign Battleground

    February 19, 2015

    MissouriPartisanship96 12 2015 02 19For more than a century, Missouri was called the "bellwether state" for its tendency to swing between Democrats and Republicans. But Missouri's days as a battleground state appear to be over, as the state has become more Republican in every election since 1996. Read what Missouri can expect in the 2016 presidential election.

National Popular Vote Reports

  • Comparative Structural Reform

    August 31, 2015

    Comparative Structural Reform presents an extensive assessment of the potential impact of 37 structural reforms to election laws and legislative structures in collaboration with 14 prominent political scholars. Scholars participating in the project are authorities on electoral reform and legislative functionality, with extensive collective expertise and mastery of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of American legislatures, elections and electoral rules. Each of the participating scholars was asked to assess each reform’s impact on 16 different criteria fitting within four topline categories: legislative functionality, electoral accountability, voter engagement, and openness of process. Scholars were compensated for their participation. All scholars responded to all eleven surveys and provided a wealth of insightful comments, new sources, and useful information in addition to their well-considered ratings of each reform.

  • Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral Votes

    January 28, 2015

    States have a constitutional obligation to decide how they will allocate their electoral votes during presidential elections. Almost all states currently use statewide, winner-take-all rules, which gives all of the state's votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote. But some states have considered alternative methods, such as the whole number proportional system and the congressional district system. We look at the effect these systems would have on presidential elections. Neither system promotes majority rule, increases competitiveness nationwide, or ensures voter equality.

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. - Why NPV makes sense (for Utah) from kkellyfv

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