Common Cause Hails New York’s Adoption of National Popular Vote Plan

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  • Dale Eisman

Action this week in New York has brought Americans an important step closer to ensuring that the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in November takes the oath of office in January, Common Cause said today.

“With the Empire State’s adoption of the National Popular Vote compact, and solid prospects for a similar victory in Connecticut, we’re nearly two-thirds of the way toward establishment of a truly democratic system for choosing our Presidents,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature on Monday of a bill passed earlier by the state legislature made New York the 10th state (plus the District of Columbia) to adopt the compact. Participating jurisdictions agree to cast their electoral votes for the candidate who amasses the highest popular vote nationwide on Election Day; the compact will take effect once it’s adopted by states with 270 electors, a majority.

States with 165 electors, 61 percent of the total needed, are now part of the agreement.

Four of the nation’s 44 Presidents took office after elections in which they were outpolled on Election Day but gained a majority in the Electoral College. The most recent of those contests came in 2000, when Democrat Al Gore narrowly prevailed in the popular vote but was defeated in the Electoral College.

“With National Popular Vote in place, candidates will have an incentive to campaign everywhere, not just in the swing states that are the focus of today’s presidential contests,” Rapoport said. “The President is the only elected official answerable to all of the people. He or she should be the person who receives the most votes on Election Day.”