Presidential electors; National Popular Vote Compact. (HB1482)

Introduced By

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) with support from co-patrons Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church), Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria), Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), and Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Presidential electors; National Popular Vote Compact. Enters Virginia into an interstate compact known as the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. Article II of the United States Constitution gives the states exclusive and plenary authority to decide the manner of awarding their electoral votes. Under the compact, Virginia agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact goes into effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have joined the compact. A state may withdraw from the compact; however, a withdrawal occurring within six months of the end of a President's term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President has qualified to serve the next term. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
12/13/2016Committee
12/13/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17101201D
12/13/2016Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/10/2017Assigned P & E sub: Elections
01/12/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1482)
01/24/2017Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
02/08/2017Left in Privileges and Elections

Comments

ACLU-VA Voting Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports this bill because it would elect a President based on a straight-forward national popular vote in the same way state and local elections are conducted by popular vote by entering into compact (NPVA) with other states. The bill mandates that state electors vote for the winner of the national popular vote (rather than the state’s own popular vote). The act becomes effective only after enough states with electoral votes totaling at least 270 have passed the legislation. Eleven states (CA, D.C., HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA) with a total of 165 electoral votes have already passed the NPVA. This bill does not eliminate the Electoral College, however, it sets a different benchmark for state electors to follow in presidential elections. The ACLU has opposed the Electoral College since 1969 because it thwarts the fundamental principle of one person, one vote by awarding each state a number of electoral votes equal to its allocation of representatives plus its two senators. The result is that a voter in a less populated state has much more influence on the presidential election than a voter in a heavily populated state. Combined with the flaws of the census in undercounting members of minority groups and marginalizing voting power, the Electoral College has established disproportionate representation in violation of the one-person, one-vote principle. The NPVA would result in a presidential election more align with the one-person, one-vote principle.

JoAnne Norton writes:

This is a democracy. We must elect by popular vote.

Susana Thomas writes:

The United States is a Republic. I strongly oppose this bill.

Brad Hemp writes:

I strongly support this bill. Since gaining the right to vote in 1998 I have seen 2 out of 5 (40%!) of our presidential elections result in a chief executive chosen with a minority of the popular vote. If this trend continues, we will effectively cease to be a democracy...or a republic for that matter. Rule by a minority is not consistent with the principles common to both democratic or republican forms of government. Short of a constitutional amendment abolishing the electoral college, bills of this sort will go a long way to restoring a government enjoying the support of the majority of its citizens and accountable to all of its constituents.

Eva King writes:

I strongly support this bill. Due to the heavy gerrymandering of districts, the electoral college does not necessarily represent the will of the people. We must elect by popular vote. One person, one vote.

Lisa Klein writes:

I strongly support this bill. One person, one vote accurately represents the will of the citizens.

Kathleen Moore writes:

I support this bill. One person, one vote as no one citizen is more valuable than another.

Susan Garrett writes:

I oppose this bill. It would effectively take away the voices of those who do not blindly follow the majority

Suzanne Hord writes:

I strongly oppose this bill. We must elect by popular vote. This is nothing short of gerrymanding and must be stopped.