Since 2000, two out of four U.S. presidents, including Donald Trump, received fewer votes than their opponents but still won the White House.
We came dangerously close to history repeating itself in 2020. While Joe Biden beat Trump by over six million votes nationally, the election was decided by razor-thin margins in a few key battleground states like Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia.
Why? Because the Electoral College gives the presidency to the candidate who wins the most electoral votes, not the candidate who receives the most votes overall. This system leaves us vulnerable to extremist attacks and efforts to bend the rules in one candidate’s favor by putting too much power in the hands of battleground states.
Every American deserves an equal voice and equal say in our democracy, no matter where they live. A voter in California or Oklahoma should have just as much say in choosing our leaders as a voter in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania.
We can fix the Electoral College, and ensure that the candidate with the most votes wins, by amending the U.S. Constitution or, more realistically, by passing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact across the country.
The compact is an agreement between states to pledge their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide, rather than the winner of just their own state.
Once enough states have passed NPV laws to total 270 electoral votes, we can finally elect our presidents directly. If this had been in place in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency, as would Al Gore in 2000.
The Path to Winning
Already, 16 states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws to join the NPV Interstate Compact, totaling 205 Electoral College votes. To reach 270, we will need to pass NPV in several more states. And to do that, we need to elect state legislators who support electing the president by national popular vote and then hold them accountable.
In 2020, Stand Up America helped pass a ballot initiative to affirm Colorado’s participation in the NPV Interstate Compact. In 2021, we fought to pass NPV in Virginia, though the bill stalled in committee. In 2023, we’re working to pass NPV legislation in Michigan and beyond.
Want to get involved? Spread the word about NPV with your friends and family.