With interstate compact, presidents could win election by popular vote

March 28, 2014 — The presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote may soon be guaranteed the election victory. Several states have signed onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, in which states agree to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular election. New York passed the measure in the Senate and the Assembly this week.

If enough states join the compact to secure 270 electoral votes, the national election scene will change dramatically.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause, joined Susan Arbetter on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom to discuss the compact. “The entire landscape for presidential campaigning would change. Instead of the race being about who can win the ten swing states…suddenly you would have a situation where the winner knows he or she actually has to persuade real voters across the country.”

The compact does not require a national constitutional change. “The point is that you can have an interstate compact,” Lerner said. “It’s an agreement among the states themselves and it’s frankly a way to show that changing the electoral college is not going to be problematic.”

In New York, the legislation now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Listen to The Capitol Pressroom here.

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