The National Popular Vote is a proposal to allow the popular vote to determine the winner of a presidential election without the need for a constitutional amendment. It relies on an interstate compact requiring identical bills to be passed in states with a total of 270 electoral votes (the number required to award the presidency). Under this bill, each participating state's electoral votes would go to the winner of the national popular vote rather than the state's popular vote. Because this bill requires 270 electoral votes to be allocated this way in order to go into effect, it does not take electoral voting power away from the participating states until it is adopted by enough of them to ensure that the national popular vote will decide the election.
This bill was passed by the legislature of California on August 30, 2006, and bills have also been filed in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri and New York. These five states have a total of 81 electoral votes, which added to California's 55 would equal more than half of the required 270.