State Senator Wants Maine To Change How It Uses Its Electoral College Votes

Mar 1, 2019

There have been four times in the nation’s history that the winner of the electoral college vote did not win the popular vote. Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash wants that to change. He has introduced a bill that would have Maine allocate it’s four electoral votes to the candidate for president who gets the most votes nationally.

A map showing different voting provinces in Portland on election day
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

“Let’s total all the votes up across the country, and whoever gets the most votes wins, that seems a simple premise to me,” Jackson says.

Opponents argue the current system is working just fine, and they warn the way the proposed law is written, it’s unlikely a candidate will achieve a majority of votes because there will be multiple candidates running for president, and someone could be elected with a small percentage of the actual vote.

Cab Howard, a retired University of Maine law school professor, says “If it were to become law, we would undoubtedly have 18-20 people running for president of all political stripes, and the person who gets a plurality of those votes would be President.”