For immediate release
Asian American Action Fund (aaa-fund.org)
Feb. 16, 2007
Contact: Gautam Dutta, Esq. (202.236.2048)

AAA-Fund Endorses National Popular Vote for Presidential Elections

Historic reform will promote national unity and empower Asian Americans

WASHINGTON, DC - The Asian American Action Fund has joined a national movement to reform the process of electing the next President. If this historic reform is adopted, the winner of the national popular vote will automatically win the White House and votes from California, Texas, Hawaii, and New York will finally matter in Presidential elections.

"The AAA-Fund strongly supports the National Popular Vote," said Erika Moritsugu, AAA-Fund Executive Director. "This ingenious reform will strengthen our democracy, while empowering the Asian American community," she added.

To win the White House, a candidate must win a majority of the Electoral College. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the national popular vote, but nevertheless seized Florida and the Electoral College. In 2004, if John Kerry had received 60,000 more votes in Ohio, he too would have won the Electoral College (despite losing the national popular vote).

Currently, 48 states and the District of Columbia have chosen to send all of their electoral votes to whoever wins their state. For example, if a candidate wins 51% of California's popular vote, he or she will receive 100% of California's electoral votes.

As a result, Presidential nominees only campaign in a handful of hotly contested "Swing States" like New Hampshire, Florida, or Ohio excluding the 85% of Asian Americans who live elsewhere. Equally unsettling, the Electoral College outcomes of 2000 and 2004 were each decided by a single Swing State, amid serious allegations of theft, voter intimidation, and fraud.

"Unfortunately, our country has been carved up into two unequal groups: a shrinking number of Swing States whose votes are pursued, and a growing number of Spectator States whose votes are taken for granted," explained Gautam Dutta, AAA-Fund National Endorsements Chair.

"By doing away with this divisive system, the National Popular Vote will ensure that everyone's vote for President will count, no matter where he or she lives," Dutta noted.

Under the Constitution, every state has the power to allot its electoral votes as it sees fit. By adopting the National Popular Vote, each state promises to award all of its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. Significantly, this promise will only become binding on one condition: that states adding up to an Electoral College majority (270 of 538 electoral votes) have also made the same promise.

Thus, the National Popular Vote guarantees that the winner of the national popular vote will automatically win the Electoral College and the keys to the White House. Already this year, the Hawaii and Colorado State Senates have passed the National Popular Vote. More details on the National Popular Vote may be found at NationalPopularVote.com or Fairvote.org.

"We look forward to working with our national network to make the National Popular Vote the law of the land," said Dutta.

The AAA-Fund is a national Democratic political organization whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in local, state and federal government, by encouraging AAPIs to volunteer on campaigns, raise money for candidates, and run for political office.

 
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FairVote's Rob Richie writes that the Electoral College deepens political inequality, and explains why the National Popular Vote plan is our best opportunity to ensure that every vote for president is equally valued.

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The executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute heralds the passage of the National Popular Vote bill in Washington state.

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