National Popular Vote

Today's Electoral College is the product of a political compromise, a deal struck among our founders more than 200 years ago. You'll recall that some of them wanted the President chosen by a vote of the people; others thought the selection should be left to members of Congress. In the end, they found a third way.

Common Cause Pennsylvania believes it's time to embrace another compromise, one that guarantees that the candidate supported by a majority of the people -- not just in Pennsylvania but across our country -- is the candidate who ultimately occupies the White House.

The vote of every Pennsylvanian, wherever cast, should have equal weight. A far superior alternative is gaining momentum around the country -- the National Popular Vote Compact -- in which all states would, by legal contract, agree to cast all of their electoral votes for the candidate that wins the popular vote nationwide.

The President is the one and only public official who runs for office nationwide. Therefore, two principals should be at the forefront of legislators' thinking -- first that every voters' vote should count the same no matter where he or she lives in the country; and second, the candidate who gets the most votes should win the election.The proposal to award electoral votes by congressional district takes the worst attributes of the electoral college and multiplies them by 18 (the number of PA congressional districts) by awarding electoral votes to the presidential candidate that wins in each Congressional district. National Popular Vote significantly elevates the probability that in Pennsylvania the candidate who won the most popular votes could get a minority of the electoral votes, due in part to congressional districts that could be gerrymandered to favor specific political parties. Gerrymandering could also make the electoral vote outcome in each congressional district a foregone conclusion, which would lead presidential candidates to ignore most of the state and leave Pennsylvania voters as mere bystanders.

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