Electing our President with National Popular Vote

The current system for electing our president no longer serves America well.


Four times in our history, the candidate who placed second in the popular vote was elected President of the United States. What’s more, in 5 of the last 12 presidential elections (including 2004), a shift in a handful of votes in one or two states would have elected a second-place candidate.


The state-by-state method for choosing presidential electors divides the country into so-called "safe" states, where voters are all but ignored, while the election is determined by a relatively small number of swing voters in "battleground" states. 


We need a system where everyone's vote counts equally.

Under the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan, states agree to allocate all of their electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes in all 50 states, but only if states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes join the agreement. Just as in every other election, every citizen’s vote would count then equally.

When America’s leader lacks the support of the majority of its citizens, we are a weaker country for it. The notion that some voters count more than others undermines the very principle of one-person, one-vote that democracy is based upon. Electing a second-place candidate weakens the legitimacy of our government and prevents citizens from coming together after bitter partisan battles to unite around a president who everyone agrees won the election fair and square. It contributes to the wave of cynicism and apathy which threaten the core assumptions of our republic.

At least 70% of Americans support moving a system of electing the president using the national popular vote. Common Cause is working to make that goal a reality.

The Constitution directs each state to select presidential elections however it sees fit and states have used a variety of methods for doing so throughout history. The Constitution also authorizes states to enter into binding agreements. So, states can mutually agree to use the national popular vote to choose electors within the existing constitutional framework.


Learn more about the National Popular Vote plan.

Take action!  Sign our petition for National Popular Vote.


Donate to our NPV campaign!  We've made significant progress, but we need your financial support to achieve National Popular Vote in time for the 2012 elections.





National Popular Vote Ticker

States that have enacted NPV Electoral Votes
MD 10
NJ 15
IL 21
HA 4


States that have passed NPV through at least one chamber Electoral Votes
MA (passed both chambers) 12
ME 4
VT (both chambers)
WA 10
CO 9
NC 15
AR 6
RI (both chambers)
CA (both chambers) 55