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Matt Singer on February 27, 2006 - 4:17pm
National Popular Vote has an old idea with a new spin. Ever since the 2000 election, an active conversation has taken place regarding whether the country should move away from the electoral college in favor of electing the President by the national popular vote. NPV has an idea for how to do that without the messiness of a Constutional Amendment. The federal government is often locked in partisan battles and has shown no serious interest in the idea of reforming elections. But the states may be a different story. Which is where the NPV plan comes into place. Don't wait for the federal government. Instead, ask all fifty states to consider simply giving their electors to the winner of the national popular vote, a decision that can be made entirely at a legislature's decision. Each bill would include a provision that it only goes into effect when states containing a majority of the electors have similar legislation in place. The provisions preventing action until the bills would be effective is absolutely critical. It's the only thing that prevents this from being a complete strategic initiative. Whether it will grow legs in Illinois, the only state where it has been introduced, remains to be seen. If such legislation were to pass in enough states, America's electoral college would still exist, but not in the sense it does now. And America would be assured that the winner of the popular vote would be sitting in the Oval Office.