Group favors presidency going to candidate who receives the most votes
WASHINGTON – Senator Fred Thompson was named national co-champion of the non-partisan National Popular Vote campaign Thursday, saying the nation cannot “run the risk of having a president who is handicapped by not having won the most popular votes.”
“We live in a time when the American people are increasingly cynical about their government’s ability to deal with our most pressing problems,” said Thompson. “This means that there is a need for bold, effective presidential leadership as never before.
“Therefore, we simply can no longer afford to run the risk of having a president who is handicapped by not having won the most popular votes. The National Popular Vote approach offers the states a way to deal with this issue in a way that is totally consistent with our constitutional principles.”
Thompson was introduced Thursday at the National Press Club along with former Governors Chet Culver (D-Iowa) and Jim Edgar (R-Illinois) as co-champions. They join Florida Republican philanthropist Tom Golisano, NPV national spokesman.
A Popular Vote system would ensure that every vote counts in presidential contests by reforming, not eliminating the Electoral College. With the current winner-takes-all system, just a few states with the most electoral votes ultimately decide who is president. Campaigns ignore the rest, including Tennessee, as “flyover states.”
Under a Popular Vote system, the votes are counted in all 50 states to determine which candidate has received the most ballots. At that time, a compact of states representing 270 electoral votes (the number needed for election) are awarded to that candidate. The decision to join the compact will be made at the state level.