Mass. House Reconsiders Awarding Of State's Electoral Votes

Every presidential election cycle, the race comes down to a half-dozen battleground states where candidates focus the bulk of their efforts and resources.

On Wednesday, lawmakers in the Massachusetts House begin debate on a bill that would change the way the state awards it presidential electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote bill would give Massachusetts' electoral votes to the candidate who wins the nation's popular vote.

Supporters of the bill, including Pam Wilmot of Common Cause, say it would ensure that every vote in the nation counts.

"It's a fairer system, it's a more democratic system and it embodies those basic principles of democratic governance," Wilmot said. "One person, one vote and majority wins."

Opponents of the bill say it's the wrong approach to what would be a significant change to the Constitution.

"Let's change this through the constitutional process, and allow for that process to go forward, be fully vetted and to go through that," said Rep. Paul Frost, a Republican from Auburn.

The change would only take place if states representing more than half of the electoral votes also agree.

A similar bill was overwhelmingly approved by Massachusetts lawmakers in the 2007-2008 legislative session.  It failed to get final approval by the time that session ended.

This program aired on June 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Steve Brown Senior Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's senior State House reporter.



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