States electoral College votes // VOTE NO

States electoral College votes

silver-popular-vote-compact-2New York this week became the 10th state (plus D.C.) to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The compact represents a clever workaround to the Electoral College. By signing on, states agree they will award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote (for example, New York would have given its electoral votes to George W. Bush in 2004). However, the measure will only be triggered once states accounting for a majority of electoral votes have joined.

There are 538 electoral votes (hence the name of this website), so a majority is 270. The compact’s signatories, so far, total 165 electoral votes. That represents a lot of progress since Maryland, with its 10 electoral votes, became the first state to join the compact in 2007.

Here’s the problem: All the states to have joined so far are very blue. Until some purple states and red states sign on, the compact has little in the way of territory to conquer.

As the chart below indicates, the relationship between whether a state has joined the compact and how it voted in 2012 is nearly 1-to-1. The seven states where President Obama won by the widest margins, along with D.C., have joined. So have three others — New Jersey, Illinois and Washington — where Obama won by at least 15 percentage points. But none below that threshold have done so.

Perhaps the compact can get Delaware, Connecticut and Maine to join, where Obama also won by 15 percentage points or more. But they account for only 14 total electoral votes (and Maine already has a unique way of apportioning electoral votes). Oregon and New Mexico also re-elected Obama by double-digit margins — and those two states have become increasingly off-limits to Republican presidential candidates — but have just 12 electoral votes between them.

After that, you get into states such as Michigan and Minnesota, which are blue-leaning but that receive plenty of attention from presidential campaigns. Their votes might not be quite as influential in the Electoral College as the campaigns presume — a Democrat who lost Minnesota would probably be in too much trouble elsewhere to cobble together a 270-vote majority. Still, they receive an influx of media dollars and political pandering every four years, and probably have little incentive to bite the hand that feeds them.


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Popular Q&A

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Where do each states electoral college votes go?

They are sent to the president of the Senate who in a joint session of Congress opens and counts them.

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Who was the last presidential candidate,who was neither Democrat or Republican,to win a state's electoral


In the case of Illinois, believe it or not:
"...but should 2 or more sets of candidates for President and Vice-President be returned with an equal and the highest vote, the State Board of Elections shall cause a notice of the same to be published, which notice shall name some day and place, not less than 5 days from the time of such publication of such notice, upon which the State Board of Elections will decide by lot which of the sets of candidates for President and Vice-President so equal and highest shall be declared to be highest." [State of Illinois election code, 10 ILCS 5/21-2]…

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