The National Popular Vote interstate compact (NPV), for example, is a coordinated campaign to get states to pledge their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The agreement would only go into effect once enough states, comprising a majority of electoral votes (270), join.
Currently, 15 states and Washington D.C., representing 196 electoral votes, have entered the compact. Four states—Colorado, Delaware, New Mexico, and Oregon—joined this year, a sign of accelerating progress. Two more states, Nevada and Maine, should have been on this list—but, after NPV advanced through the legislature, Nevada’s Democratic governor Steve Sisolak unexpectedly vetoed it, and, although it passed the state Senate, Maine House Democrats voted down NPV after bizarrely voting to advance it days prior.
There is no pathway for the compact to go into effect before the 2020 election—but 2024 remains a possibility. First, Maine and Nevada will have to come back into the fold. Then, if the Democrats (or reform-minded Republicans) win enough state legislative races in a combination of Virginia, Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Hampshire—all states in which this is potentially feasible—NPV could be pushed over the finish line.
But each state need not wait for the others to realize concrete changes in advance of 2020. All states can better ensure that every vote counts in presidential elections by implementing what is known as ranked choice voting (RCV).