SACRAMENTO (CBS) — Come November 2012, voters in California could make their voices heard at the ballot box much more loudly.

That’s because Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law awarding all of the state’s 55 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in presidential elections.

The move is the culmination of an effort led by National Popular Vote, a group which aims to avoid a repeat of the 2000 election when Democrat Al Gore lost the electoral vote — despite winning the popular vote — to Republican opponent and then-Governor George W. Bush.

Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, told KNX 1070 California is joining several other states passing similar legislation.

“The states are going to enter into a compact and if enough states do it for the majority of electoral votes, they argue that everybody’s vote will count and the person who gets the most popular votes wins the election despite what the electoral college says,” said Stern.

Brown’s signature makes California the eighth state to join the effort and brings the total electoral votes to 132 out of the 270 required to make the agreement effective.

But with its history of voting primarily Democratic, critics argue that California is marginalizing its Republican constituency — a fear that Stern said is unfounded.

“The ironic thing would if the rest of the country decided to vote for a Republican, under this proposal California’s electoral votes would go for the Republican even though California voted for the Democrat,” he said.

California along with the vast majority of states  have winner-take-all systems that award all the electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most votes in that state, according to the Associated Press.

Comments (7)
  1. duh says:

    This makes it so that elections are not called early, which makes Pacific Time voters apathetic. All of the votes MUST be counted before electoral votes are awarded. Although major networks are urged to NOT declare a winner before west coast polls close, this is never the case, and as such, realistically every west coast vote doesn’t matter. All the east coast and midwest states effectively already called the election.

    People against this idea are throwing typical ‘fear’ into the discussion, but the bottom line is, YOUR California vote will now actually COUNT towards a winner. This is a true step towards a president being elected by a COUNTRY, not the handful of states in the first time zones.

    I heartily support this movement, and hope it will revitalize apathetic voters to get out, campaign, and vote!

  2. noneoff says:

    Suppose 50.1% of the popular vote goes to candidate A and 49.9% of the popular vote goes to candidate B, how is it fair that candidate A receives 100 % of the electoral votes when candidate A did not receive 100 % of the popular votes? Regardless of how the Fed or State current rules, laws, and regulations are setup, based on a winner take all setup, candidate A does not need 50+% of the total popular vote to win, candidate A just needed enough states to carry enough electoral votes to win, and D@mn the majority.

    1. duh says:

      >how is it fair that candidate A receives 100 % of the electoral votes when
      >candidate A did not receive 100 % of the popular votes?

      Popular vote is the majority, however small, however large. This is how it’s fair. This is what will empower people to get back out and vote again – because their vote will matter.

      There is no such thing as “100% of the popular vote”, you just either made that up or have erroneously looked at it that way. You have 100% of the vote, and the popular vote is designated to the one who had the actual most votes. That’s the same thing that phrase is used for today. We’re not changing the terminology, just how it’s applied to the outcome.

  3. Tracey says:

    One the most drawn out and hotly debated topics by the Founders, when writing the Constitution, was the method by which the president would be elected. They are rolling in their graves over this. This is even dumber than the Electoral College itself.

    1. duh says:

      Tracey, this does not change anything the Founding Fathers wished for. You are trying to spread fear and conspiracy by saying these things. Each state sends electoral votes for president. The Founding Fathers left it up to EACH STATE how they wanted to do it. You are making it sound like we are abolishing the Electoral College system, which can’t be done without a Constitutional Amendment. We are simply changing what triggers our electoral votes (which currently is 55).

      Right now, the candidate with the most votes in CALIFORNIA alone gets all 55 of our electoral votes. We do not split them up, it’s known as ‘winner takes all’, but again, it’s the winner of CA that takes all. If candidate A wins CA, he/she gets our 55 votes. If candidate B wins the most votes in all of the US, he/she does not get our electoral votes.

      What will happen now is, if candidate A wins CA, it doesn’t matter, and our votes go nowhere just yet. We are giving up our option to select a winner for our electoral votes by our state’s winner. When ALL of the votes are counted, INCLUDING CA, then the person who has the most votes in the entire US gets our 55 electoral votes.

      This means, your vote COUNTS. Finally. And I guarantee you that the Founding Fathers would want your vote to count. They would not only NOT have a problem with this, they specifically gave each state the power to do this. It does not harm the Electoral College system they created.

  4. Victor A says:

    I love it. That mans my vote will count in California. I hate voting because I know these twits in this state are going to vote for clowns like O’bungle and Biden. Why would ANY republican vote in California? I think all electoral votes should go away and let the PEOPLE vote with the person who gets the most votes WINS…

  5. ca election says:

    Though we are a ways off from the California election season, it is still good to start thinking about things ahead of time.  Hopefully these elections will make the type of changes we need here in California.  Sooner the better too!!

Leave a Reply