Electing our President with National Popular Vote
Did you know that the American people don’t really elect our President?
It’s true. When we vote, we choose presidential “electors,” one for each of the 538 members of the House and Senate. Under our Constitution, they form an “Electoral College” and choose the President.
Four times in our history, the electors have chosen the candidate who actually placed second in the popular vote. What’s more, in 5 of the last 14 presidential elections, a shift in a handful of votes in one or two states would have elected a second-place candidate.Electors are chosen state-by-state. The candidate who gets the most votes in your state, even if it’s just barely the most, generally gets all the electors from that state. This 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 nationwide. The agreement takes effect only if states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes – a majority -- join the agreement.
This plan would make every citizen’s vote count equally.
America is weakened when our president lacks the support of the majority of our citizens. And the idea that some voters count more than others, a central tenant of the Electoral College system, undermines the principle of one-person, one-vote that our democracy is based upon. The election of second-place candidates weakens the legitimacy of our government and prevents citizens from coming together after bitter partisan battles to unite around the president.It contributes to a 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 electors as it sees fit. Through our history,states have used a variety of methods to complete the job. 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.
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 2016 elections.
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