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

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

  • Lower Presidential Election Turnout in Safe Republican States (Part II)

    December 4, 2014

    TurnoutInSafeRStatesBlog Image2 20141204 CEDThirteen states have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980. How does their voter turnout compare to the rest of the nation? FairVote shows their turnout is much lower... and the gap appears to be growing. (This blog updates previous findings from 2011.)

  • Michigan Electoral College "Reform" and the National Popular Vote

    December 2, 2014

    VotingImage2Today the Michigan Committee on Elections and Ethics met for the second time to hear testimony on a bill that would change the way that Michigan distributes its electoral votes. FairVote director Rob Richie weighed in, presenting important new analysis.

  • Battlegrounds and Spectators: How Campaign Attention Relates to Voter Turnout

    October 31, 2014

    BattlegroundTurnoutBarGraph 31102014In every presidential election, there are battleground states and spectator states. How does campaign attention affect voter turnout? We took a closer look at the causal relationship by focusing on states that have changed from battlegrounds to spectators and vice versa.

National Popular Vote Reports

  • The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

    June 13, 2014

    In debating options for reforming presidential elections in the United States, the most promising alternative to the status quo is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV). But even though we use popular vote elections to select every member of Congress and all 50 governors, some NPV skeptics warn that its adoption would have a partisan impact on presidential elections. They fear that Democrats could increase their national vote totals by focusing resources on major metropolitan areas, while Republicans could achieve similar gains only by spreading their resources across more geographically dispersed, non-urban areas. This report challenges this argument in three ways. 

  • The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

    June 13, 2014

    This report challenges the argument that a national popular vote for president would advantage Democratic or urban voters in three ways. First, we demonstrate that urban areas, when properly defined as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), lean only modestly toward the Democratic Party. 

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