Cars stream by the polls on Ocean Avenue in Portland on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

In two of the last six presidential elections, the candidate with the most popular votes was not elected. Electoral votes, not popular votes, determine the presidential winner.

This system distorts the will of the people. Candidates concentrate on “swing” states, hoping to sway enough voters to their side so that they will win the entire state’s electoral votes (only Nebraska and Maine divide up their electoral votes). A few thousand popular votes in each of those states can change 10-20 electoral votes, which could be enough to change the outcome.

The National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact is an alternative. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have already agreed to assign all of their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the NPV. They represent a total of 195 electoral votes, just 75 short of the 270 needed for the compact to go into effect.

The passage of LD 1578 would add Maine to the NPV Interstate Compact. If people agree that every vote should count to protect our democratic process, they should please join me in urging our state legislators to pass LD 1578.

Rick Davis