US Senator Bill Nelson leads on key FairVote priorities: Electoral College, advance registration, more

by Rob Richie // Published June 10, 2008
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has put forward an an ambitious reform agenda that includes several national FairVote priorities, including establishing a national popular vote for president, advance voter registration for teenagers before they reaching voting age and reform of the presidential primary process. His office summarizes his "one person, one vote initiative" in a June 6th news release.

Sen. Nelson's approach to a national popular vote for presidential is a constitutional amendment. We support such an amendment, and particularly aspects of his approach such as allowing U.S. citizens who are eligible voters to vote wherever they live and, following our precedent for congressional elections, not specifying the voting method to be used.

At the same time, we strongly support the National Popular Vote plan for president. The NPV plan is based on states taking action under the current Constitution -- indeed taking action that our founders charged them to do. Just as states took the lead in expanding the franchise to women and directly electing U.S. Senators, there is no reason for states to sit back and accept their current rules that lead to such dysfunctional general elections for president. (Indeed the news is full of the targetting the presidential campaigns already are doing -- narrowing the field to at most 15 states, and making the rest what Washington Post columnist David Broder calls "throwaway states.")

So we are pleased to see the National Popular Vote plan having so much success and doing all we can to boost that success and we are pleased to see Sen. Nelson re-launch a conversation in Congress about amending the Constitution.