An Election to Reflect the Will of the People

By Birch Bayh and John Buchanan
Published April 10th 2006 in The Washington Post

We represent a bipartisan group that seeks to implement the National Popular Vote plan -- a state-based proposal that uses the constitutional powers given to state legislatures to appoint electors in the manner they choose.

The popular election of the president, with every vote equal no matter where it is cast, is a goal consistently supported by two-thirds of the American public. David S. Broder's column ["An End Run Around the Constitution," March 26] missed the fact that our plan, when implemented, will enhance our democracy by involving the citizens of the great majority of states, large and small, that now are ignored.
By giving states plenary power over how to allocate electoral votes, our Constitution obligates state legislators to debate whether the National Popular Vote plan serves their constituents better than the current system.

It took decades for most states to settle on the statewide winner-take-all method of allocating electors. Its current impact on accountability, voter turnout and national unity demand a new approach.

We are reaching out to all states and fully anticipate that legislators will debate our plan with the seriousness and deliberation expected by our constitutional framers. We believe that most states, if not all, will decide to join this binding agreement to award their electoral votes to the national vote winner once it guarantees election of that candidate.

A national popular vote represents the will of the American people. Since the popular election of our representatives is the best system at every other level of government, why not for our most important office?