How many times have you heard “Nobody likes the electoral college, but nobody cares enough to do anything about it.” It is an anachronism from our post colonial days and serves no presently identifiable legitimate purpose. The 2000 election, which resulted in the loser of the popular vote being elected to the presidency by this outmoded electoral system, galvanized the system’s critics. The National Popular Vote Compact is an agreement among consenting states to vote their electoral votes for the person who wins the national election. This approach represents the states’ efforts to circumnavigate the constitutional provision setting up the electoral college (which itself is a far cry from how the sytem is currently administered).
Shock of shocks, the Washington senate just passed a bill joining the Compact. This bill needs to pass the house and to be signed by the governor for it to become effective. I have no idea what its prospects are now, but I applaud the senate for passing the bill. Only Maryland and New Jersey have so far formally signed on, but a compact bill is on the desk of governors in two other states, in other states it has passed one house only so far and to my knowledge it has been introduced in each state.
Washington is clearly among the leaders on this issue. It shows you what can be done when the established lobbies do not have a dog in the fight here.