After the passage of AB 2948, public support for legislation to take California into an interstate compact to award its electoral votes to the national popular vote winner picked up considerable steam over the weekend. The legislation gained the editorial endorsement of the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee.
Calling the National Popular Vote campaign "necessary," the LA Times went on to comment:
The Electoral College doesn't skew just election results; it skews elections. Candidates know they don't have to campaign in states that either clearly favor them or clearly don't; they have to focus only on swing states. In the 2004 campaign, Bush and Kerry spent a great deal of time brushing up on agricultural policy and other issues of vital concern in Iowa, while ignoring matters important to people in states such as California, Texas and New York.
LINK: LA Times
The Sacramento Bee reaffirmed the principle that "The election of the U.S. president should reflect the directly expressed will of the American people."
In California, the Assembly approved the bill Tuesday. Because California has such strong influence nationally, the governor and senators can get this process rolling in other states by acting this session.
LINK: Sacramento Bee
"California legislators were right to support this bill," commented Rob Richie,executive director of FairVote, a nonpartisan reform organization and an ally in the National Popular Vote coalition. "The Constitution assigns the task of improving presidential elections to states. It's clear that Californians now get absolutely zero attention in presidential campaigns unless being asked for a check. Indeed Californians have experienced one of the nation's four largest declines in youth turnout, down fully 18% since 1972 - hardly surprising given the rising voter turnout gap between battleground and spectator states."
States have applied many different rules for allocating electors. Under AB 2948, states would award their presidential electors based on the national popular vote winner rather than on the statewide vote winner. These laws would not take effect anywhere until identical laws had been enacted in enough states to assure that the nationwide popular vote winner will get enough electoral votes to be guaranteed the Presidency.
Co-authors of the book Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan For Electing The President By National Popular Vote,include Stanford consulting professor John Koza, FairVote's Rob Richie and National Popular Vote president Barry Fadem. FairVote also produced the groundbreaking report Presidential Election Inequality. For more information, see www.fairvote.org/presidential and www.nationalpopularvote.com
FairVote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that studies the impact of electoral rules and systems on turnout, representation and electoral competition. It can help arrange interviews with National Popular Vote's Barry Fadem and John Koza, National Popular Vote plan backers such as FairVote's Rob Richie, former Congressmen John Anderson and John Buchanan and New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg. For more information, contact Ryan O'Donnell at (301) 270-4616 or [email protected]