Leader behind popular vote initiative says plan will make every voter ‘equal’


The leader behind a movement looking to allow states to elect presidents based on the national popular vote argues that the initiative would help equalize votes among states across the country.

John Koza, chairman of the nonprofit National Popular Vote, said the plan would allow states to exercise their right under the Constitution: the power to decide how to award their electoral votes.

The proposal he has put forth, known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, would award the electoral votes of states that sign on to whomever wins the popular vote nationally, regardless of the results in the Electoral College.

“Right now, what happens is that if you’re a Democrat in Texas or a Republican in California, your vote is essentially zeroed out,” Koza told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball during an interview that aired on Monday. “They count your votes and then they discard it.”

Koza said that under his proposal, state boundaries “would not matter.”

“Every vote of every voter in every state would count directly towards the presidential candidate that voter wants see to be president, so it would make every voter in every state equal,” he told Hill.TV.

Colorado is set to become the 12th state to sign on to the compact, along with the District of Columbia, giving supporters of the plan 181 electoral votes, well short of the 270 needed to take the White House. 

Koza said the measure has been introduced in about 22 states so far this year. He also noted that Delaware, New Mexico and Colorado are among the states to keep an eye on. Both the Delaware and New Mexico state senates recently passed the popular vote initiative.

The National Popular Vote chairman said he hopes to continue to build broad, bipartisan support for the compact with the hope that it eventually becomes law. 

“Every year, we add a state or two, and that’s what we plan to keep doing from now until it becomes law,” he told Hill.TV.

The Electoral College has come under fire in recent years. President Trump’s victory in the 2016 election marked the second time a candidate won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote in the past 20 years.

— Tess Bonn

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