President Obama said on Friday that he would make voting rights a priority. But given that Congress can barely get around to naming post offices anymore, D.C.-led progress seems unlikely. There is, however, a plan to make voting more fair—at least in presidential elections—which would require no action from the capital: The National Popular Vote compact. As Eleanor Randolph explained recently, state signatories agree to give their electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote so long as enough other states, with a combined 270 electoral votes, pledge to do the same.
In March New York’s legislature approved the compact and today Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law. “By aligning the Electoral College with the voice of the nation’s voters,” he said in a statement, “we are ensuring the equality of votes and encouraging candidates to appeal to voters in all states, instead of disproportionately focusing on early contests and swing states.”
New York is the 11th state to pass the compact, bringing the tally to 165 electoral votes—105 short of what’s necessary.