Law enhances presidential popular vote

July 21, 2010 at 1:46 PM
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BOSTON, July 21 (UPI) -- Massachusetts is set to join other states in trying to make sure that the national presidential popular vote winner also gets an Electoral College majority.

The state House passed the National Popular Vote bill Tuesday, sending it to the state Senate for a final vote, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

"The National Popular Vote measure will ensure that our presidential elections reflect the true will of the people," House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office said in a statement.

Under the proposed measure, all of the state's 12 electoral votes would go to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally.

Supporters of the National Popular Vote campaign are engaged in a state-by-state campaign to get such bills passed, the Globe said.

Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington have already adopted the legislation, according to the National Popular Vote campaign's Web site.

Once states holding a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538) enact such laws, the candidate with the most votes nationally would be assured a majority of the Electoral College votes, no matter how the other states vote or how their electoral votes are distributed, the Globe said.

Supporters say that the current Electoral College system is confusing and causes candidates to focus unduly on a handful of "battleground" states. Under the present system, almost all states individually award all of their electoral votes to the winner in that state. A state's electoral votes equal the total of its two senators and all of its U.S. House representatives.

Critics of the proposed change say the current system works and does not need to be modified, the Globe reported.

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