This week Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 459, a bill committing California to National Popular Vote, an interstate initiative meant to change states’ system of awarding their electoral votes to better reflect the national popular vote. Instead of awarding all of California’s 55 Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes statewide, AB 459 would award all of the votes to the candidate who wins the most votes nationwide. California joins eight other states, including New Jersey, Illinois. Vermont and Massachusetts, to sign on to the compact so far, which brings the total of committed electoral votes up to 132 of the 270 required for the initiative to take effect. Opponents of the movement fear that abolishing the current system would hand the voting advantage to Democrats in California; in fact, no strong Republican state has come out in support of NPV. Former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed previous versions of the bill in 2006 and 2008, and on Friday, the Republican National Committee near-unanimously passed a resolution opposing the initiative.
John Koza, Chairman, National Popular Vote, sponsors of AB 459
Robert M. Hardaway, Professor at University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and author of The Electoral College and the Constitution: The Case for Preserving Federalism