Maryland Passes ‘National Popular Vote’ Law
Both chambers of Maryland’s legislature have passed a bill, which Governor Martin O’Malley has signaled he’ll sign, that would award the state’s 10 Electoral College votes to the winner of the nation-wide popular vote. “It would not take effect until enough other states agree to do the same” to guarantee that the Electoral College chose the winner of the national popular vote.
Supporters of the measure, being championed by a national nonprofit group, say deciding elections by popular vote would give candidates reason to campaign nationwide and not concentrate their efforts in “battleground” states, such as Florida and Ohio, that have dominated recent elections.
Moreover, the supporters argue, such a system would prevent rare occasions, such as President Bush’s 2000 victory over Al Gore, in which a candidate who wins the popular vote does not prevail in the electoral college, a fixture in U.S. elections since the nation’s founding.
I’ve written about this movement before (here) as has Robert Prather (here). There will be constitutional challenges if it gets close to mattering. That’ll take a while. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year and “one chamber of the Arkansas, Hawaii and Colorado legislatures” have passed the measure this year. Presuming O’Malley signs, there’s still 260 Electoral Votes to go.
via Taegan Goddard