[JURIST] Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed off on legislation [SB 634 materials] Tuesday that will award Maryland's ten votes in the US Electoral College [NARA materials] to the national popular vote winner in presidential elections, instead of the recipient of the most votes in Maryland. The legislation will only take effect, however, if a majority of the states representing the total 538 electoral votes adopt similar laws. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Jamie Raskin, told AP that the move to a popular vote system "will reawaken politics in every part of the country," even Maryland, a state presidential candidates usually sidestep because of the belief that it will always vote for the Democratic candidate.
The Maryland Senate [General Assembly website] passed the measure [JURIST report] in March by a vote of 29-17. Other states are also considering the plan as a way to avoid a situation where a candidate wins the popular vote but loses the election, as happened with Democrat Al Gore in 2000. AP has more.