Legislation seeks to change how Florida's electoral votes are rewarded

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 20:17:58-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - Legislation filed at the capitol for the 2018 session could change the way Florida’s electoral votes are awarded in future presidential elections.

The bill, filed by Democrats in both the state House and Senate, would require Florida to award its 29 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in Florida.

The idea, known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s victory in November 2016, in which he won 304 electoral votes, 77 more than Hillary Clinton, even though Clinton won the national popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots.

This was the fourth time in US history, and second time in 16 years, in which the president did not win the national popular vote.

State Representative Joe Geller is sponsoring the measure in the House. He says the plan is ideal, whether you come from a large swing state like Florida or a sparsely populated state in middle America. 

“A vote in Wyoming or a vote in Montana would count as much as a vote in Miami, Los Angeles or Chicago," said State Rep. Joe Geller, D- Aventura. "Every vote would count, and you would have to go every place people are, to try to get every vote you could."

Geller says voters in small, rural states have nearly four times as much Electoral College clout as those in densely-populated states like Florida, since each state has two US Senators regardless of population.

More than ten other states and the District of Columbia, all which voted for Clinton, have already signed on to the compact.

The bill has yet to get a committee hearing in either the Senate or House, with the legislature in the 2nd week of its nine week regular session.