The push for a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is moving full steam ahead this year, with supporters hoping to put an end to the Electoral College system that has twice in the last century placed a popular vote loser in the White House.
The Associated Press reported in December that despite this election’s presidential victor winning both the national popular vote and the Electoral College, the race still hinged on narrow margins in a handful of swing states.
If the results had turned out differently in some of those states, [President Donald] Trump could have lost the popular vote for the second election in a row but gained the presidency because of the Electoral College system.
“It’s an old, ugly mess that frankly should have been obviated some time ago,” said Virginia House of Delegates member Mark Levine, a Democrat who introduced a bill that would have Virginia sign on to the National Popular Vote movement. It would compel member states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote.
Levine’s measure passed the Virginia House earlier this year. Passage by the Senate would bring the movement 13 electoral votes closer to its goal.
The National Popular Vote Compact currently has 15 states and the District of Columbia on board, according to the report. This year, supporters will focus in eight more states, which together have a total of 88 Electoral College votes.
For presidential candidates, 270 represents the number of Electoral College votes needed to secure a win. The move toward a national popular vote also is aiming for that magic number. It already has secured 196 and aims to gain more next year. Advocates hope, perhaps unrealistically, that it will be in place by the next presidential election in 2024.
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