The National Popular Vote Agreement: An Overview

The National Popular Vote Agreement (NPVA) is a compact among states that aims to ensure that the candidate who wins the most votes in a presidential election wins the presidency. The objective of the agreement is to bypass the Electoral College, which has been a controversial method of electing the President of the United States since its inception.

The Electoral College is composed of 538 electors, who are selected by the states. The number of electors per state is proportional to the state`s representation in Congress. The candidate who wins the majority of the electors` votes becomes the president. However, this system has led to five instances in which the candidate who won the most votes did not become president, including the 2016 election.

The NPVA proposes that states pledge to allocate their electors to the candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote, regardless of the state`s own election results. The agreement would only go into effect once states with a total of 270 electors (the number needed to win the presidency) join. As of 2021, 15 states and the District of Columbia, representing a total of 196 electors, have joined the NPVA.

Supporters of the NPVA argue that it ensures that every vote counts equally, regardless of the voter`s location. They also argue that it would encourage candidates to campaign in all states and not just in “swing” states. Opponents of the NPVA argue that it would give too much power to highly populated states, thereby reducing the influence of smaller states in the election.

The legality of the NPVA is currently being debated. Critics argue that the NPVA violates the Constitution, which gives states the power to choose their own electors. However, supporters argue that the Constitution also grants states the power to enter into interstate compacts.

In conclusion, the National Popular Vote Agreement proposes a new way of electing the President of the United States. While it has gained support from several states, its legality is still being fiercely debated. Regardless of its final outcome, the NPVA raises important questions about the role of the Electoral College in modern elections and the value of the popular vote in a democracy.