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National Popular Vote Victory in Massachusetts

National Popular Vote Victory in Massachusetts Adds Momentum to Changing Presidential Vote System

Last week, the Massachusetts Senate passed National Popular Vote (NPV) legislation by a 28-10 vote, a little more than a month after the state’s House of Representatives approved NPV by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority.

With final approval by the legislature likely soon, this will add Massachusetts' 12 electoral votes to approval of NPV by Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, bringing the electoral votes of states approving the NPV interstate compact to 73.  When enough states approve NPV to bring the tally of electoral votes to 270 (the number needed to win an election), the NPV interstate laws will award those state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally, replacing the current system where votes are awarded on a winner-take-all system state-by-state.

The momentum nationally for National Popular Vote remains strong: both chambers in four other states (Rhode Island, Vermont, Colorado and California) have approved NPV in the past few years, while at least one chamber in ten other states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon) have approved it.

Support in Massachusetts reflected broad public support, including a survey of voters conducted in May, which showed that 72% of Bay Staters want a system that will make every vote count, regardless of whether it is from a battleground state or not.  Before the bill can go to Governor Deval Patrick for his signature, state law requires that it be formally affirmed, or enacted, one last time by both chambers.  The enactment vote passed the House on Tuesday, while the Senate is still working to schedule its final vote.

Resources:
National Popular Vote
Boston Globe-  Mass. Legislature Poised to Enact Electoral College Bypass Bill
Progressive States Network- National Popular Vote Approved in Chambers in New York and Massachusetts
Progressive States Network - National Popular Vote - A Voter Turnout and Civil Rights Issue