The Massachusetts Legislature has voted for legislation aimed at ensuring the winner of the popular vote wins presidential elections, making the Electoral College irrelevant; under the new law, Massachusetts will give its 12 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk; he’s said in the past that he supports the measure. Supporters of this plan have been campaigning state by state for its passage, and so far Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington have approved the law, which goes into effect once enough states have passed it to make it work. (Once states accounting for the majority of electoral votes pass the law, winning the popular vote would guarantee winning the Electoral College.) Critics said bill supporters were messing with a “tried and true” system, but enthusiasts say the Electoral College causes huge chunks of the country—non-swing states—to be ignored during the election.
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