State Reps. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and David Leland (D-Columbus) earlier this week announced the reintroduction of legislation that proposes 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.
“On the weekend following the 2017 inauguration, with millions of people taking to the streets to protest the presidency of Donald Trump, we witnessed the largest outpouring of dissent this nation has ever seen,” said Leland. “Part of the energy that fueled this protest was the belief that Trump was not a legitimately elected president because he lost the popular vote by a landslide— nearly 3 million votes. This legislation is not a re-litigation of the recent general election. Instead, it will change the way we elect future presidents, so that never again will someone be elected without winning the popular vote of the people.”
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact allows for states to apply the national popular vote through the Electoral College, without dictating how states choose their electors and without the need for 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 is a change that is long overdue. Two-thirds of the presidents elected in my adult life will have been chosen by the Electoral College in their first term without receiving the majority vote,” said Ramos. “Our current framework does not respect the direct will of the people. This is patently undemocratic and undermines confidence in the people that we are truly a democracy.”
During the 2016 general election, two-thirds of the presidential campaign events were in only six states. This legislation seeks to restore 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.
Since 2007, 10 states and the District of Columbia – a total of 165 electoral votes – have joined the compact. Should Ohio join, the compact’s electoral total would jump to 183 electoral votes. The compact will automatically go into effect when enough states join to represent an absolute electoral majority – 270 electoral votes.