Tag: electoral college

National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

Election 2016 was the fourth presidential election where the winning candidate did not win the majority of the popular vote. Subsequently, the Electoral College has come under renewed fire; the most recent instance of a majority-electoral-minority-popular split was in 2000 between Bush and Gore. Though there is a considerable gap between 2000 and the first two instances in 1876 and 1888, criticism of the system is not new. As recently as a 2013 Gallup poll, 63% of polled adults said they would vote for getting rid of the Electoral College.

In practical terms, there is little short-term recourse against the Electoral College. Changing the system would require a constitutional amendment. Two states, Maine and Nebraska, currently do an alternative system where a proportion of electoral votes are given based on the percentage of popular votes received. However, it is worth noting that mathematically speaking a “fair” voting solution is difficult to find.

One initiative worth mentioning is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). The bill would assign a state’s electoral votes to the state’s popular vote winner. Currently, the coalition includes 10 states and the District of Columbia, or 165 electoral votes. In order to be made law, 105 electoral votes worth of states would have to join. The effort is worth attention because of the progress it has made. Beyond that, support for the cause follows the familiar routes of either contacting legislators and donations.