E-Newsletter February 23, 2006

Released February 23, 2006
FairVote NewsFlash

FairVote Backs Innovative Plan to Win Popular Election of the President

Thursday February 23, 2005

Press conference
National Popular Vote launched a new campaign for popular election of the president today at the National Press Club.
Dear Friend of Fair Elections,

Today, FairVote's chairman John Anderson joined Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN), Rep. John Buchanan (R-AL) and other supporters of an important new campaign to elect the president by a national popular vote.

Majority rule and political equality are fundamental tenets of democracy. But they are not honored under our current two-tiered system that shuts out the vast majority of the country, distorts the value of a vote, promotes polarization, and throws accountability to the winds. Just as in congressional elections, candidates should have incentives to speak to everyone, all Americans should have the power to hold their leaders accountable and every vote should be equal.

National Popular Vote presented at the National Press Club today an innovative plan to reform the election of the president through state action. With a simple change in their statutes, states have the constitutionally protected power to join together to award their electoral votes collectively to the national popular vote winner rather than to the winner of the vote in their state. The plan goes into effect when enough states have agreed to participate that they represent a majority of Americans and thus a majority in the Electoral College. At that point, participating states will agree to give all their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most votes across the country, guaranteeing that candidate the presidency. Every vote will be equal.

Already Illinois has legislation (SB 2724) to enact this plan, with the support of leading members of both major parties and an independent. We expect legislation eventually to be pursued in all 50 states, as polls consistently show that American support a national popular vote by a margin of two-to-one.

FairVote is the leading civic organization with a program on popular election of the president. We have an excellent set of website resources, including our groundbreaking new report: Presidential Election Inequality, that makes a powerful case for why establishing a national popular vote is particularly imperative in the 21st century and that systematically dismisses common defenses of the status quo. FairVote's executive director Rob Richie is co-author of the new book Every Vote Equal that lays out the National Popular Vote plan, and Presidential Elections Reform program director Chris Pearson is one of National Popular Vote's three board members.

This campaign is just getting started, so stay tuned and stand with us in this cause. Tell your state legislators about the plan, read materials on our site and the websites for National Popular Vote and Every Vote Equal. Let's make presidential elections — and indeed all our elections — for all of us.

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ROb Richie's signature
Rob Richie
Executive Director