Earlier this month, New York Governor Cuomo signed a bill adding the state to the National Popular Vote Compact.
New York’s 29 electoral votes bring the total to 165, 61% of the 270 that are needed to guarantee a majority in the Electoral College.
Supporters of National Popular Vote see it as a remedy to a system that favors just a handful “battleground” states. They cite data from 2012 that shows four out of five states (and Americans) were ignored by the presidential candidates in the post-convention campaign period. In fact, 69% of the post-convention campaign events were conducted in just four states and only 12 states had even one event involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate.
Eleven jurisdictions have joined the compact, but the Agreement Among the States to elect the President by National Popular Vote only takes effect when it has been approved by enough states to guarantee that the majority of Electoral College votes would go the winner of the national popular vote.
Interestingly, New York’s bill contains a provision that if the compact doesn’t take effect by 2018, the state is no longer bound by the legislation.