The Massachusetts House has approved a bill intended to ensure that the winner of the presidential election is determined by the national popular vote and not by the Electoral College system.
The House voted 114-35 this afternoon for the National Popular Vote bill, sending it to the Senate.
Under the proposed bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationally. Supporters are trying to get such bills enacted in states across the nation. Once states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (or 270 of 538) have enacted such laws, the winner of the popular vote would be assured a majority of the electoral votes, no matter how the votes fall in other states.
Proponents of the change say that the current Electoral College system is confusing and causes candidates to focus on a handful of battleground states. Critics say, as Representative John Fernandes said today, "There is no problem with our current system for electing a president."
The measure passed both branches of the Legislature in 2008 but did not make it all the way through the process.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more