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Christian Smith-Socaris on April 3, 2008 - 9:38am
On April 2nd, the Maine Senate passed a National Popular Vote bill, LD 1744, that would guarantee that the Presidential candidate who receives the most votes in all 50 states wins the Presidency. The bill is an interstate compact, which would take effect only when states possessing a majority of the membership of the Electoral College (that is 270 of 538 electoral votes) enact similar statutes.
Significantly, the lead sponsor of LD 1744 in Maine was Senator John L. Martin, who back in 1969 established Maine's current system (shared only with Nebraska) of allocating the state's electoral votes based on which candidate wins each Congressional district. As Sen. Martin wrote in a recent op-ed, National Popular Vote is a better system for putting "the power to elect the presidency in the hands of the people."
The Maine Senate vote follows a vote by the Vermont Senate on March 19th to approve its own NPV bill, S 270. Both Maryland and New Jersey have enacted the NPV compact and a total of sixteen legislative chambers have now approved it as well. The compact is awaiting the governor's signature in Illinois.