Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is set to sign on Friday a law making Vermont the seventh state to join the National Popular Vote compact.
Although most states give their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate that wins the most votes in the state, they are technically free to assign those votes based on whatever criteria they want. So, the national popular vote campaign is trying to use this function to essentially replace the arcane and undemocratic electoral college system with a true, national democratic election.
Once states with a total of 270 electoral college votes or more pass the law, they will all agree to give their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate that wins the most votes nationally. With the addition of Vermont, a total of 77 electoral votes have signed on.
This solves two problems. First, it will prevent another election like 2000, where George W. Bush became president despite half a million more Americans voting for Al Gore.
Second, it addresses the problem where candidates care almost entirely about trying to appeal to voters in a handful of “swing states.” The current system makes your vote for president basically meaningless if you live in a deep-red state like Utah or a deep-blue state like Vermont.