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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The End of the Electoral College is Nearer

From the Washington Post:

Maryland is poised to become the first state to agree to bypass the electoral college and effectively elect U.S. presidents by national popular vote under legislation moving briskly toward the desk of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

But the bill comes with a big caveat: It would not take effect until enough other states agree to do the same. "It's a long way from home," said Senate President Thomas Mike V. Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). "I don't know if it will happen in my lifetime."

The bill, which the Senate approved 29 to 17 yesterday, would award the state's 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide -- not statewide. A similar bill was approved yesterday by a House committee and is expected to come before the full chamber today, and O'Malley signaled his backing.

Supporters of the measure, being championed by a national nonprofit group, say deciding elections by popular vote would give candidates reason to campaign nationwide and not concentrate their efforts in "battleground" states, such as Florida and Ohio, that have dominated recent elections.

Posted by Ethan Leib on March 29, 2007 at 12:48 PM in Article Spotlight | Permalink


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I'm not convinced that a Kerry win, with a popular-vote loss, would have led to bipartisan calls -- at least not to signficant or large calls -- to abolish the electoral college. Instead, the Democrats would then realize that sometimes it helps them, too, and would about-face from their post-2000 view.

But regardless of that, both parties in small states have an interest in keeping the system, and enough of them can block constitutional change.

Posted by: just me | Apr 3, 2007 5:40:09 PM

Excellent. Its a step in the right direction. Its a shame that Kerry didn't win Ohio last election, as he would have lost the popular vote. Then we would have seen bipartisan calls for the end of the electoral college.

Posted by: Bart Motes | Mar 30, 2007 12:01:01 AM

Excellent to see you pick up on this important development. Nearly 300 state legislators in 47 states are advancing the National Popular Vote legislation, and it's needed now more than ever. We'll have this in place by 2012 with proper focus and commitment. Check out the latest at www.nationalpopularvote.com and a report our organization did on problems with teh current system at www.fairvote.org/president

Posted by: Rob Richie | Mar 29, 2007 2:57:12 PM

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