A bill now being considered by several state legislatures would, without doing away with the system, essentially bypass the Electoral College to ensure that future presidential candidates who receive the most popular votes nationwide will win the presidency.
States enacting the National Popular Vote bill would agree to band together and award all of their electoral votes to which ever presidential candidate wins the nationwide popular vote. The bill would become effective when enacted, in identical form, by states controlling a majority of the electoral votes needed to elect the president, currently 270 of 538 electoral votes. [Votes by state]
Can they do that?
The National Popular Vote bill is absolutely constitutional. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution grants the states the exclusive power to determine how their electoral votes will be awarded, and to change their laws concerning their electoral votes at any time. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional power of the states to control their electoral votes under Article II, Section 1, to be "plenary," or complete.
Since it would not require the time consuming and probably unsuccessful process of amending the Constitution, the National Popular Vote bill would take effect as soon as 270 electoral votes-worth of states have enacted it, possibly in time for the 2008 presidential election.
About the Electoral College System
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