2013 -- S 0346

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LC01277

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STATE OF RHODE ISLAND

IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2013

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A N A C T

RELATING TO ELECTIONS

     

     

     Introduced By: Senators Lynch, P Fogarty, Miller, Goodwin, and DiPalma

     Date Introduced: February 13, 2013

     Referred To: Senate Judiciary

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

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     SECTION 1. Title 17 of the General Laws entitled "ELECTIONS" is hereby amended by

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adding thereto the following chapter:

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     CHAPTER 4.2

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AGREEMENT AMONG THE STATES TO ELECT THE PRESIDENT BY NATIONAL

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POPULAR VOTE

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     17-4.2-1. Compact enacted. The interstate compact entitled the "Agreement Among

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the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote" is hereby enacted into law and entered

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into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:

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     ARTICLE I.

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     MEMBERSHIP.

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     Any state of the United States and the District of Columbia may become a member of this

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agreement by enacting this agreement.

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     ARTICLE II.

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     RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE IN MEMBER STATES TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT AND

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VICE PRESIDENT.

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     Each member state shall conduct a statewide popular election for president and vice

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president of the United States.

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     ARTICLE III.

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     MANNER OF APPOINTING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS IN MEMBER STATES.

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     Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the

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chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each

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presidential slate in each state of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes

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have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a

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"national popular vote total" for each presidential slate.

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     The chief election official of each member state shall designate the presidential slate with

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the largest national popular vote total as the "national popular vote winner."

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     The presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the

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appointment in that official's own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association

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with the national popular vote winner.

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     At least six (6) days before the day fixed by law for the meeting and voting by the

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presidential electors, each member state shall make a final determination of the number of

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popular votes cast in the state for each presidential slate and shall communicate an official

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statement of such determination within twenty-four (24) hours to the chief election official of

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each other member state.

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     The chief election official of each member state shall treat as conclusive an official

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statement containing the number of popular votes in a state for each presidential slate made by the

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day established by federal law for making a state's final determination conclusive as to the

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counting of electoral votes by Congress.

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     In event of a tie for the national popular vote winner, the presidential elector certifying

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official of each member state shall certify the appointment of the elector slate nominated in

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association with the presidential slate receiving the largest number of popular votes within that

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official's own state.

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     If, for any reason, the number of presidential electors nominated in a member state in

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association with the national popular vote winner is less than or greater than that state's number of

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electoral votes, the presidential candidate on the presidential slate that has been designated as the

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national popular vote winner shall have the power to nominate the presidential electors for that

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state and that state's presidential elector certifying official shall certify the appointment of such

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nominees.

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     The chief election official of each member state shall immediately release to the public

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all vote counts or statements of votes as they are determined or obtained.

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     This article shall govern the appointment of presidential electors in each member state in

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any year in which this agreement is, on July 20, in effect in states cumulatively possessing a

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majority of the electoral votes.

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     ARTICLE IV.

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     OTHER PROVISIONS.

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     This agreement shall take effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the

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electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form and the enactments by

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such states have taken effect in each state.

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     Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal

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occurring six (6) months or less before the end of a president's term shall not become effective

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until a president or vice president shall have been qualified to serve the next term.

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     The chief executive of each member state shall promptly notify the chief executive of all

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other states of when this agreement has been enacted and has taken effect in that official's state,

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when the state has withdrawn from this agreement, and when this agreement takes effect

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generally.

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     This agreement shall terminate if the electoral college is abolished.

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     If any provision of this agreement is held invalid, the remaining provisions shall not be

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affected.

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     ARTICLE V.

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     DEFINITIONS.

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     For purposes of this agreement:

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     (1) "Chief executive" means the governor of a state of the United States or the mayor of

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the District of Columbia;

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     (2) "Elector slate" means a slate of candidates who have been nominated in a state for the

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position of presidential elector in association with a presidential slate;

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     (3) "Chief election official" means the state official or body that is authorized to certify

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the total number of popular votes for each presidential slate;

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     (4) "Presidential elector" means an elector for president and vice president of the United

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States;

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     (5) "Presidential elector certifying official" means the state official or body that is

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authorized to certify the appointment of the state's presidential electors;

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     (6) "Presidential slate" means a slate of two (2) persons, the first of whom has been

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nominated as a candidate for president of the United States and the second of whom has been

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nominated as a candidate for vice president of the United States, or any legal successors to such

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persons, regardless of whether both names appear on the ballot presented to the voter in a

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particular state;

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     (7) "State" means a state of the United States or the District of Columbia; and

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     (8) "Statewide popular election" means a general election in which votes are cast for

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presidential slates by individual voters and counted on a statewide basis.

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     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC01277

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EXPLANATION

BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

OF

A N A C T

RELATING TO ELECTIONS

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     This act would join Rhode Island in an agreement among states to elect the president and

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vice president by national popular vote.

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     This act would take effect upon passage.

     

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LC01277

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S0346