What is One Nation One Vote?
We are an organization dedicated to improving democracy in America. Right now we are focused primarily on moving towards electing our President by popular vote.
Do you need a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Electoral College?
No. We can have a national popular vote by the 2020 election if enough states agree that the winner of the national popular vote should be elected President. Those states will pledge their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of who wins their state. This is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Is the National Popular Vote a partisan issue?
No. It is not about Republicans or Democrats. A national popular vote is about democracy. Regardless of the candidate you voted for in this election, we can all agree the candidate receiving the most votes should win the election. For this reason, many prominent Republicans as well as Democrats and Independents favor a national popular vote to elect the President.
Why should we elect the President by a national popular vote?
Because in a democracy, the most votes should win. It is the reason why the Constitution starts with “We the People”—because the people govern for the sake of democracy, we must change the system so that the candidate with the most votes becomes President.
Who won the national popular vote in 2016?
Hillary Clinton, by a margin that will exceed 2.5 million votes. Never before has a candidate won the popular vote by this large of a margin and still lost the Presidency. This is bad for democracy, regardless of the candidate you supported. The President should represent “We the People.”
What’s wrong with the Electoral College electing a President?
In a democracy, the candidate with the most votes should win. The Electoral College’s original goal was to serve as a deliberative body, which no longer occurs. And much has changed about our democracy since the 18th Century. For over 100 years, the winner of the national popular vote and the Electoral College were the same. But since 2000, the popular vote winner has lost in the Electoral College twice. We should not tolerate such a system. In today’s America, the people should decide who becomes President. We are One Nation. We should hold One Vote, where every vote is equal and where the most votes wins.
What is the National Popular Vote Compact?
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a commitment by states that once states with at least 270 combined Electoral Votes join, they will award their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. So once states with 270 electoral votes join, we have a national popular vote for President. Even if not all states join, it does not matter. Once states with 270 electoral votes commit to award their votes to the national popular vote winner, the candidate with the most votes will prevail.
Has the national popular vote winner diverged from the Electoral College winner other times?
Yes, most recently in 2000. That year, Al Gore won the popular vote by about .5% but lost in the Electoral College to George W. Bush. Before 2000, the national popular vote winner also won in the Electoral College every election since 1888 spanning the breadth of modern American history. Before 2000, the last time the popular vote winner lost in the Electoral College was in 1888.
When does the National Popular Vote Compact become effective?
When states with a total of 270 electoral votes have signed on.
How many states have agreed so far?
States representing 165 electoral votes have agreed to the National Popular Vote Compact: California; District of Columbia; Hawaii; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Washington.
So how many more states do we need to have a National Popular Vote?
We need states with 105 combined electoral votes. Then the National Popular Vote Compact becomes effective, and the winner of the National Popular Vote becomes President.
Will moving towards a National Popular Vote favor one political party over another?
No. It is true that in two of the past five elections, the Democratic candidate (Al Gore and Hillary Clinton) has lost the Presidency even while winning the popular vote. But in 2004, the Democratic candidate John Kerry almost won the Presidency when he almost won Ohio even while losing the popular vote by a much bigger margin. This analysis by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com shows that the party having the Electoral College “advantage” often varies from election to election.
Do Republicans as well as Democrats favor a National Popular Vote?
Yes. Prominent Republicans such as Newt Gingrich have backed a National Popular Vote. (link) And Donald Trump himself has called the Electoral College “a disaster for democracy.” (link). Even after his election, Trump said he’d “rather do the popular vote” and that he was “never a fan of the Electoral College.”
Why should we care about this when so many other pressing issues exist?
Because this is about the fundamental nature of our democracy. Should the people decide who is President? Should the candidate with the most votes win? The answers to these questions should be, to borrow a phrase, self-evident. The American President should reflect the will of the American People.
How are you trying to obtain the additional states so that the National Popular Vote Compact becomes effective?
Two ways. First, in many states, we can use the Initiative process to get on the ballot so that the voters in those states can decide. Polls have shown that voters in all states—Republican and Democratic—favor a National Popular Vote. Second, we will work with states that have not yet enacted the National Popular Vote Compact to get it passed.
What can I do to make sure we have a National Popular Vote in 2020?
Here are four things you can do right now.
- First, spread the message about One Nation One Vote and that most votes should win. Many people do not know about the National Popular Vote Compact. Some do not even know that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Make sure to let them know this is not a partisan issue. Regardless of who you voted for, a National Popular Vote is important for democracy. Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.
- Second, get involved! Regardless of where you live, help us get on the ballot in states that have the Initiative and haven’t passed the National Popular Vote Compact. And if you live in a state that hasn’t passed it yet, contact your State Legislators and Governor. Join our mailing list to stay informed
- Third, help us by donating money. We are a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Any little bit helps. Give $2.70 to represent the 270 electoral votes. Or $270! We will use that money to fund our research and advocacy and put this issue on the ballot in as many states as possible.
- Fourth, sign our petition to raise attention to this issue.
So should we forget about a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Electoral College?
No, but that’s a long-term goal. Right now, the best way to achieve a National Popular Vote in time for the 2020 election is to work with as many states as possible to enact the National Popular Vote Compact.
Will enacting the National Popular Vote Compact end the Electoral College?
As a practical matter yes, since the national popular vote will determine the winner. As a technical matter, the Electoral College will still meet to ratify the national popular vote winner. The only way to end the Electoral College even as a technical matter is to pass a constitutional amendment. We are working on that goal, but in the meantime the Compact allows the country to hold a truly national vote without amending the Constitution.
Don’t we have one vote for President now?
No. We effectively have 51 separate statewide elections that occur on the same day to allocate the states' (plus DC's) electoral votes. Almost all of the electoral votes are awarded on a winner-take-all basis in the state. So winning candidates in a state receives all of that state's electoral votes regardless whether they win by 1 vote or 1 million votes or 10 million votes.
Whose idea is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?
The folks at National Popular Vote--especially John Koza--deserve great credit for thinking of and pushing for this idea. One Nation One Vote will work with National Popular Vote and any other interested group or individual that wants to help make the Compact become law by passing it in sufficient remaining states.
Wait, can you actually do this?
Yes. The Constitution gives states the power to allocate their electoral votes how they choose. So once states with 270 votes agree to award their votes to the popular vote winner, we have a national popular vote even for states that have not joined. You essentially use the Electoral College against itself. When states with 270 electoral votes commit to award their votes to the national popular vote winner, the candidate with the most votes for President will actually become President.