HARRISBURG, Pa., May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In every election except one in the United States, the candidate with the most votes wins. Thirty five members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives say the same principle should apply to the highest office in the land, the Presidency. Led by prime sponsors Rep. Tom Creighton, R-Lancaster, and Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, they introduced legislation this week to do just that.
Called the National Popular Vote plan, the legislation (HB1270) would mandate Pennsylvania to enter an interstate compact with other states to cast all Electoral College ballots in favor of the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide.
Seven states (Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington) and the District of Columbia already have approved the legislation representing 79 of the 270 electoral votes needed to elect a President. Pennsylvania, after losing a Congressional seat in the current redistricting, would add 20 electoral votes to that total. Action to secure passage of authorizing legislation currently is underway in 43 states.
According to a recent statewide survey conducted by Terry Madonna Opinion Research, two out of three Pennsylvanians support popular election of the President and seven out of 10 surveyed say it would be unjust to seat a candidate who received fewer popular votes than an opponent.
"It is important that Pennsylvanians know every vote counts, and HB1270, the National Popular Vote bill, will guarantee our votes matter in the Presidential Election," Creighton said.
The state-by-state "winner take all" approach used by virtually every state in casting its Electoral College votes has resulted in a candidate who did not win more popular votes nationwide being seated as President four times in our nation's history. The most recent was in the 2000 election where challenges to the outcome went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, there have been a number of "near misses," the most recent being the 2004 election where a shift of some 60,000 votes in Ohio would have resulted in John Kerry being seated even though he received three million fewer votes nationwide than George W. Bush.
"This does not do away with the Electoral College nor does it require a Constitutional amendment," said Creighton, a Lancaster County Republican. "This is a bi-partisan effort to ensure that the winner of the Presidential election actually becomes the President. What makes more sense, or could be simpler than that?"
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SOURCE National Popular Vote