Monday, April 6

POPULAR VOTE CAMPAIGN 20% THERE

Washington Times - National Popular Vote, a California-based group formed in 2006, has won commitments from four states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. Those four states - Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii - have 50 electoral votes among them.

The goal is for states with a total of 270 electoral votes to enter into a compact in which they agree to give their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.

Since presidential candidates need 270 electoral votes for victory, such a compact would ensure that the candidate earning the most votes nationwide would win the election, and the Electoral College would be made irrelevant. Campaigning would become radically different. The most obvious change is that there would be no advantage to getting 51 percent in a given state, thus no "battleground states."

The new system wouldn't kick in until the target is reached, said John Koza, chairman of National Popular Vote and the designer of the plan. "We have 20 percent of the electoral votes we need," said Mr. Koza. "The whole idea of the bill is that no state can do this alone. It only goes into effect when we have 270 electoral votes."

At this rate, however, the system could be implemented in time for the 2016 presidential race. Nearly every state has introduced National Popular Vote legislation this year, and seven have passed bills in one chamber.

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