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One Person, One Vote

Abdi Soltani,
Executive Director,
ACLU of Northern California
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March 10, 2010

Imagine a system to elect the President of the United States where the candidate with the most votes could actually lose. You just imagined our system. And it has happened more than once — and as recently as Bush v. Gore in 2000. National Popular Vote would change that. Under National Popular Vote the candidate with the most votes in the country would win — not most of the time, but every time.

Imagine a system where a small number of voters — that is, voters in just a few states — were the ones whose votes truly mattered in a Presidential election. You just imagined our system. Voters in most states are on the sidelines, some of them writing checks, while candidates target their campaigns to the issues and concerns unique to only a few states. Under National Popular Vote, each voter, in any state, would have an equal say — and equal sway — in electing the President.

The National Popular Vote Compact is a proposal through which states commit their electoral votes to the candidate for President who gets the most votes in the country. It only takes effect when enough states sign on to constitute a majority of the electoral votes. National Popular Vote ensures that each vote cast has an equal impact on the outcome of the Presidential election, thus furthering the principle of one person, one vote.

Sounds simple enough, but for National Popular Vote to take effect it has to pass more state legislatures. It has broad-based support, including from the ACLU.

Find out about the status in your state at

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