The Electoral College is a frequently discussed, and often criticized, way of choosing the president. Hoping to bypass it, some states believe they’ve come up with a better method.
As The Boston Globe reports today (July 20), Massachusetts could become the sixth state — along with Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington — to pass legislation that would skip the Electoral College system altogether. Under the new plan, the state would hand all of its 12 electors to the winner of the national popular vote, even if that candidate didn’t win in Massachusetts itself.
The proposal — being pushed in legislatures around the country by an organization called National Popular Vote — wouldn’t take effect until enough states have passed identical legislation. The cutoff mark is the 270 electoral votes needed for any candidate to claim the presidency.
Thirty legislative chambers in 19 states have passed the legislation, according to National Popular Vote, though it remains relatively rare for the bills to become law. The five states that have enacted the legislation account for 61 electoral votes, or 23 percent of the total needed for the compact to go into effect.