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CONTACT: Common Cause
Derek Cressman (916) 760-1534
Washington Becomes Fifth State to Join Agreement on Popular Vote for President
WASHINGTON - May 1 - Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation today that entered Washington into a binding agreement to elect the president using the national popular vote. The agreement, which has also been enacted by Maryland, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Illinois, will go into effect once states representing a majority of the Electoral College join it, possibly in time for the 2012 election.
"We are now one step closer toward a goal of having every vote for President count equally in all 50 states," said Common Cause President Bob Edgar, who noted that a total of twenty-seven legislative chambers have approved the National Popular Vote legislation in the past three years. "Legislators are clearly picking up that citizens support the common sense notion that the candidate who gets the most votes should win."
Public opinion polls have shown more than 70 percent of voters support direct election of the president.
Unlike proposals to abolish the Electoral College with a constitutional amendment, the National Popular Vote agreement uses existing provisions of the Constitution which allow states to choose their own methods of selecting electors. It will likely require 20 to 25 states, representing at least half of the population and at least 270 electoral votes, to join the agreement before it goes into effect. Once implemented, the candidate who wins the most votes in all 50 states is guaranteed to receive a majority of votes in the Electoral College and of being elected President.