Though a bill that would bind New York’s votes in the Electoral College to the winner of the presidential popular vote has not moved in Albany, Illinois is the latest state to embrace an idea that has the potential to reshape the way we choose our president.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a law earlier this week that will require Illinois to elect the president using the National Popular Vote. The move, which has won approval in New Jersey and Maryland, would prevent a repeat of the 2000 presidential election should it be approved in all 50 states.
Illinois is the 16th state to pass such a bill. In 2000 George W. Bush, despite his defeat in the popular vote to Al Gore by roughly 500,000 votes, was victorious after having won enough states through the Electoral College, including a hotly contested Florida race, to clinch the presidency.
“It is rare that we see such a sweeping reform move so swiftly,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar, whose organization is a driving force behind the legislation. “Legislators are clearly picking up that citizens want every vote to count equally for president and that the candidate who gets the most votes should win.”