Maine has a unique system to award its electoral votes in presidential elections. Each of Maine’s congressional districts casts one electoral vote, and then the whole state casts two more. But all of these are based on how the people of Maine vote. That is what the Electoral College is about—the people in each state are represented in presidential elections.
Now, a campaign called National Popular Vote (NPV), wants Maine to give away its votes. If the Maine state legislature passes NPV—which it almost did in 2019—California voters would have more say over Maine’s votes than Mainers. In fact, NPV would give California 19 times more power over Maine’s electoral votes than Maine voters.
NPV is an interstate compact adopted by states through their legislative processes. States joining this interstate compact pledge to give away their electoral votes based on the nationwide popular vote.
NPV has a “trigger”—it only takes effect if passed by states with a total of 270 electoral votes, which would then control the election outcome without regard to what any other state does. Today states worth 196 electoral votes have passed this NPV legislation, meaning NPV is 73% of the way to nullifying the Electoral College without amending the Constitution.
National Popular Vote is a multi-million-dollar, nationwide campaign. The group lobbies state legislators in an effort to hijack the Electoral College, and they’ve set their sights on Maine.
NPV is targeting Maine
Maine has been a target for NPV since 2007. It first appeared in the state Senate, where it passed in April 2008. Interestingly enough, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate was elected to the State House and introduced the NPV there in 2009. Fortunately, the bill died in the House and almost a decade went by before NPV returned to the state.
In 2017, NPV was introduced in the House with 8 co-sponsors, marking what became a two-year-long, aggressive push in Maine. During that time, Save Our States experts were on the ground and in the airwaves educating legislators and the general public on the dangers of NPV. In the end, NPV came dangerously close to success—it passed in the Senate and then passed on first reading in the House. At the very end of session, the bill died on the House floor and the motion to reconsider failed.
There’s no doubt that NPV is aggressively targeting Maine this year. If you live in Maine, be sure to reach out to your legislators with our easy-to-use tool and ask them to stand up for the Constitution.