NC Senate Panel OKs Presidential Popular Vote Plan

State lawmakers are joining the nationwide push to decide presidential elections by popular vote, backing a measure that would abandon the electoral college system.

The idea is being pushed in several states by the California-based National Popular Vote organization. But it would only kick in if states representing a majority of the nation's 538 electoral votes decided to make the same change.

While North Carolina is growing, Mecklenburg Senator Dan Clodfelter says the state is largely ignored by presidential candidates because it doesn't have enough electoral votes to swing an election.

Clodfelter, who's sponsoring the measure, says that in the 2004 presidential race, the top candidates spent more money on their campaigns in the battleground state of Florida than in 45 other states and the District of Columbia combined.

Legislation has been introduced in 40 states to join the popular vote movement, but so far only Maryland has passed it into law.