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As Popular Vote Compact gains momentum, Ohio takes a second look

Leland says move ensures that popular vote winner is the one elected President
March 12, 2019
David Leland News

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) tomorrow will push his House colleagues in the House Federalism Committee* to pass House Bill (HB) 70, his legislation to have Ohio join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a group of states that pledge their entire Electoral College delegation to the winner of the national popular vote during the general election.

Leland’s first hearing on HB 70 in the Ohio’s House Federalism Committee comes as states like New Mexico and Colorado have passed similar bills through their House and Senate, respectively.

Leland said the bill will ensure “true democracy” in America by ensuring the presidential candidate that receives the greatest total of votes is the candidate that ends up in the White House.

“If we are going to have a true republic, with elections that can be viewed by all Americans as completely legitimate, we should be a part of this National Popular Vote compact and finally ensure that the person with the most votes is the one that is elected President,” said Leland.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would allow for states to award their Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote for president without a constitutional amendment. Instead, it would allow states to award all electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the popular vote – the vote of the people.

“This change is long overdue. Two of the last three presidents have entered office without having won a majority of the popular vote nationwide,” added Leland. “Our current framework undermines the will of the people by not guaranteeing that every voter in every state matters in every presidential election.”

Since 2007, 12 states and the District of Columbia – a total of 172 electoral votes – have joined the compact. If HB 70 passes, the compact’s electoral total would jump to 190 electoral votes out of the 270 required for a majority. The bill was first introduced in Ohio in 2016.

*Editor’s note: House Federalism Committee meets at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow Wednesday, March 12 in Room 113 of the Statehouse.