, Salem, MA

June 3, 2010

Letter: Time to demand National Popular Vote

To the editor:

In 2008, in the heat of the presidential campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain almost never visited Massachusetts. Instead, they did 98 percent of their big events in the 17 swing states, places like Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire. Our state, like Texas and California, Rhode Island and Idaho, South Carolina and Connecticut, was a bystander state, too red or too blue to merit attention.

In the final six weeks of the campaign, more than 99 percent of candidates' advertising money was spent in just 17 swing states, accounting for only about 37 percent of the voting population.

It's not right. It's time to elect the president the commonsense way — the person with the most votes should win.

This week, our Legislature has a chance to set us on that path when the House of Representatives votes on the National Popular Vote bill.

This bill will make all American voters equally important, no matter where you live. It will also prevent Bush vs. Gore situations, ending forever the possibility that a tight vote in just one state can throw an entire presidential election into chaos, and eliminating the possibility that a person could win the presidency while actually receiving fewer votes than another candidate.

The National Popular Vote bill is an interstate compact — an agreement between the states — which says that if enough states join in to determine the winner, they will agree to grant their electoral votes together to the winner of the national popular vote, thus delivering the election to the person who gets more votes.

Please send a message to your legislators in support of a National Popular Vote.

Avi Green

For the MassVOTE team