Fred Thompson, the former U.S. senator, Republican presidential candidate and actor (Law and Order, etc.), will be in Richmond next week to support an effort to ensure the presidency goes to the winner of the most overall popular votes in all 50 states.

Thompson, along with former Illinois governor Jim Edgar (R) and former Iowa governor Chet Culver (D) are part of a bipartisan coalition that has endorsed the National Popular Vote that would go into effect if states representing 270 electoral votes pass legislation.

The National Popular Vote bill has been signed into law in seven states — Maryland, Hawaii, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont and the District of Columbia -- representing 29 percent of the necessary votes for the compact to go into effect.

“We live in a time when the American people are increasingly cynical about their government’s ability to deal with our most pressing problems,” Thompson said in a statement. “This means that there is a need for bold, effective presidential leadership as never before. Therefore, we simply can no longer afford to run the risk of having a president who is handicapped by not having won the most popular votes. The National Popular Vote approach offers the states a way to deal with this issue in a way that is totally consistent with our constitutional principles.”

Thompson will be joined at the capital July 19 by philanthropist Tom Golisano, who became the effort’s national spokesman in February.

No word yet on whether House Speaker Bill Howell (R) , Senate Majority Richard Saslaw (D) or Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) would support such a measure in Virginia.