THE WAY DEMOCRACY WILL BE
For Immediate Release
/ June 28th 2006

California Senate Elections Committee Approves National Popular Vote Bill

Innovative plan to make “every vote equal” heads to the Appropriations Committee

Legislation to implement the National Popular Vote plan, a multi-state agreement to establish a national popular vote for President, continued moving forward in California today with approval by the Senate Elections Committee by a vote of 3-1. AB 2948, authored by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D -Anaheim), already passed the California Assembly on May 30. The legislation would enact the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.”

Identical legislation has passed the Colorado state senate and is pending in Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, and New York – where it was introduced last month by five Republicans. Sponsors have also been announced in Vermont and Arizona.

“This vote is good news for the people of California and the nation, as it recognizes that presidential elections ignore far too many voters. Under the National Popular Vote plan, every vote, in every state, will be equal, and candidates will campaign for votes everywhere, not just a small number of battleground states,” said National Popular Vote president Barry Fadem. “We will continue to work with Republicans, Democrats and independents in every state in the nation to make this plan a reality, and give all Americans an equal say in presidential elections.”

“California needs to be more than a cash stop and photo op for those seeking to lead our country,” said Assemblyman Tom Umberg, Chair of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee.  “California, like the other ‘safe’ states, is ignored during campaigns and that is abhorrent.  As a result, issues that are of concern to our 15 million voters aren’t addressed by presidential candidates.”

Under the plan, states would award their presidential electors based on the national popular vote winner rather than on the statewide vote winner. The state laws would not take effect anywhere until identical laws had been enacted in enough states to assure that the nationwide popular vote winner will get enough electoral votes to be guaranteed the Presidency.

Co-authors of the book Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan For Electing The President By National Popular Vote, include Stanford consulting professor John Koza, FairVote's Rob Richie and National Popular Vote president Barry Fadem. FairVote also produced the groundbreaking report Presidential Election Inequality. For more information, see www.fairvote.org/president and www.nationalpopularvote.com .

FairVote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that studies the impact of electoral rules and systems on turnout, representation and electoral competition. It can help arrange interviews with National Popular Vote's Barry Fadem and John Koza, National Popular Vote plan backers such as FairVote's Rob Richie, former Congressmen John Anderson and John Buchanan and New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg. For more information, contact Ryan O'Donnell at (301) 270-4616 or ryan@fairvote.org.