Imagine the Power of the National Popular Vote for Presidential Elections
In spring 2019, the State of Colorado legislature voted to join the National Popular Vote (NPV) Compact. On behalf of LWVBC, thanks to all the Colorado voters, advocacy organizations and legislators who supported this legislation!
NPV opponents were able to get this issue on the Colorado state ballot in 2020. Colorado voters, like the Colorado Legislature, approved NPV.
The League of Women Voters believes the NPV is an acceptable, fair and more democratic alternative to the electoral college. We believe that NPV can better inspire and engage voters in U.S. Presidential elections, and better reflect the will of voters as U.S. citizens. Imagine that!
The NPV Compact will take effect when enacted into law by states totaling 270 electoral votes (a majority of the 538 electoral votes). So far the tally is 196.
Background on the National Popular Vote
In the United States, the office of the President is determined by the electoral college, a system by which “electors” in each state, chosen by candidates’ political parties, represent the votes cast for President in that state. Candidates receiving a national total of 270 or more electoral college votes can win the election, even if they don’t win the popular vote.
The NPV Compact, or NPV Agreement, is a method to achieve the direct election of the U.S. President without amending the U.S. Constitution. States that enact the NPV award all their electors to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.
This agreement will take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by enough states to have a majority of the electoral votes (270 are needed for a majority). In this way, the person with the most votes is guaranteed to have the electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Benefits of the NPV
There are three primary reasons for adopting NPV:
• In the current system, presidential election campaigns tend to ignore voters in "bystander states" (states where the outcome is relatively certain) while heaping attention on voters in swing states.
• Voter turnout in bystander states (45%) is significantly lower than voter turnout in swing states (60%), possibly because of the lack of candidate attention, or because voters feel their opinions don't matter.
• An election system in which candidates with fewer popular votes become president, can perpetuate voter cynicism and apathy. The candidate with the most votes should win, and every presidential election vote should count equally.
To learn more
NPV Campaign Website
KGNU radio interview with LWVBC President Peggy Leech, February 26, 2019
Opinion article on NPV and the Electoral College from
The Conversation, March 27, 2019
Interview with Dr. John Koza, NPV originator, and Dr. Koza's book Every Vote Equal.