Bipartisan group pushes to eliminate Electoral College, have popular vote elect president

The group National Popular Vote is behind a bipartisan effort to bypass the Electoral College and pick the president based on total votes.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The 2020 election had everyone's eyes glued to the Electoral College map for days.

While a candidate's popular vote is tallied, it doesn't guarantee victory.

In order to win the presidency, the next elected president needs to get the most electoral votes.

"We're in recount craziness. We're going to have courts and lawyers pick a president again. That is not good for American democracy," says Patrick Rosenstiel, a member of the National Popular Vote.

The bipartisan group is pushing to bypass the Electoral College and pick the president based on the overall number of votes received.

The Electoral College was created at a time when slavery was legal and only white men who owned land could vote.

Blacks were deemed three-fifths of a human and counted for congressional representation, but not allowed to vote.

Most states now abide by a "winner-take-all" method for assigning their electors.

That means even if a candidate earns just a few thousand votes less than his opponent, millions of that candidate's votes would not count.

Rosenstiel says the Electoral College encourages candidates to focus only on important swing states.

For generations, Democrats have argued that the Electoral College has been a boon for Republicans, nudging Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump into office even though their opponents earned more votes.

However Rosenstiel, who's a Republican himself, says moving to a popular vote system would make votes in every state more valuable.

He says 15 states and the District of Columbia have joined his group's "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact," vowing to cast their Electoral College votes for the candidate who earns the most votes in the country.

If just a few more states enlist, Rosenstiel says the Electoral College will become irrelevant.

"We are only 74 electoral votes away from having a national popular vote for the president," says Rosenstiel.
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