Day 15: Call your state rep about the Electoral College

The National Popular Vote is a Better Way to Run the Electoral College

DAY 15 ACTION: Find out where your state stands on the National Popular Vote.

Electoral College map from the 2000 Presidential election, when Albert Gore won the popular vote and George W. Bush won in the Electoral College.

To review from yesterday, there are shaky justifications for the Electoral College. And the system can create a situation – as in 2000 and 2016 – where the winner of the popular vote does not become President.

Abandoning the Electoral College entirely would require a Constitutional amendment. But the Constitution says “Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors … .” So your state legislature can change how the Electoral College works. 

States have different methods of choosing electors to vote in the Electoral College.

  • Most states use a “winner take all” method. Electors support a particular candidate; after the presidential election, the legislature selects the electors backing the candidate who won the most votes in that state. 
  • Maine and Nebraska use a “district” method. Two “at-large” electors, representing the state’s Senate votes, are selected based on the state-wide winner. But electors representing Congressional districts are selected based on the candidate who wins in that district. This method would be fairer, if districts were not created by legislatures to favor the majority party (See Day 9.) Republican-controlled legislatures are pushing to expand this system.  

Fair Vote advocates for the National Popular Vote, where states agree by law to select electors based on who wins the most votes nation-wide. So far, 11 states with 165 electoral votes have joined the compact. But the agreement needs a majority of Electoral College votes – 270 out of 538 – to be effective.

** These are live debates. RIGHT NOW, Virginia is considering a Republican bill to move to the District method AND a Democratic bill to adopt the National Popular Vote system. **

Today’s Action: Find out where your state stands on the National Popular Vote. Report what you find on Facebook, or tweet at us (@misciendias)!!

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