National popular vote bill passes Virginia House committee
A bill that would commit Virginia to a process effectively ending the outdated Electoral College passed a House of Delegates committee on Friday.
The National Popular Vote Bill would enter the Commonwealth into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which will go into effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes necessary to elect a president – 270 out of 538.
In December, when electors meet to cast their ballots for president and vice president following a presidential election, the electoral votes of all the compacting states would be awarded in a package to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and DC.
The bill committing Virginia to the compact passed the Virginia House Committee on Privileges and Elections on Friday. The measure now moves to the full House.
When passed by both the House and Senate, the bill would go to Governor Ralph Northam for final signature into law.
“We are grateful to our sponsors in the Virginia General Assembly, and to citizens across the state who are making it clear that they prefer a national popular vote for president,” said John Koza, chairman of National Popular Vote. “Regardless of party, the people of Virginia prefer a system where every voter, in every state, is politically relevant in every presidential election. National Popular Vote delivers on that promise.”
Dels. Marcia “Cia” Price and Mark Levine are chief co-patrons of the measure in the Virginia House.
Since the National Popular Vote movement began in 2006, fifteen states and the District of Columbia – altogether totaling 196 electoral votes – have passed the National Popular Vote bill. Virginia’s 13 electoral votes would bring that total to 209 – just 64 electoral votes short of the total necessary for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to take effect.
“We are determined to achieve 270 or more electoral votes,” Koza said. “We will be dogged in our approach to attract Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who believe there is a better way to elect the President of the United States.”