American presidents are elected by winning a majority in the Electoral College and not by winning majorities. This has produced presidents who have lost the popular vote (as in the 2000 election) or come close (as in 2004).
Reformers are seeking to make sure that winning presidents enjoy the popular and Electoral College majorities. One of the serious efforts is the National Popular Vote bill to effectively replace the Electoral College system with a direct, nationwide vote of the people. Under this bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes.
Dr. John Koza, President of National Popular Vote, discussed his arguments for the National Popular Vote bill. This event was moderated by Professor Larry Jacobs.
Dr. John Koza received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan in 1972. He published a board game involving Electoral College strategy in 1966. From 1973 through 1987, he was co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Scientific Games Inc. where he co-invented the rub-off instant lottery ticket used by state lotteries. In the 1980s, he and attorney Barry Fadem were active in promoting adoption of lotteries by various states through the citizen-initiative process and state legislative action. He has taught a course on genetic algorithms and genetic programming at Stanford University since 1988. He is currently a consulting professor in the Department of Medicine and in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He is co-author of the book, Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Votewith Barry Fadem, Mark Grueskin, Michael S. Mandell, Robert Richie, and Joseph F. Zimmerman.
Jacobs, Lawrence R.
Getting to Majority Rule in Presidential Elections.
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