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Oregon bill granting electoral college votes to national popular vote winner heads to governor's desk

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Oregon lawmakers on Wednesday sent a bill that would have their state's electoral votes reflect the will of the nation, not just the people of Oregon, to the...

Posted: Jun 6, 2019 3:39 AM
Updated: Jun 6, 2019 3:48 AM

Oregon lawmakers on Wednesday sent a bill that would have their state's electoral votes reflect the will of the nation, not just the people of Oregon, to the governor's desk.

By a 37-22 vote Tuesday, the Oregon House passed SB 870, which would grant the state's electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

The measure passed the state Senate in April by a 17-12 vote, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's office has indicated that she will sign the bill into law.

"It has to go for legal review, but we anticipate that she will sign it," Brown's deputy press secretary Nikki Fisher told CNN Wednesday, citing Brown's support of a national popular vote since her time as secretary of state.

The governor has five days to consider the bill upon receiving it from the legislature, but has not been notified as to when she will receive it, Fisher said.

Should Brown sign the bill, Oregon would be the 15th state to allocate its electoral votes in this way. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia have all joined the pact.

The agreement established by the states' laws will go into effect only if the cumulative total of the states' electoral votes surpasses the 270 necessary for a majority. The most recent addition, New Mexico, put the total at 189 electoral votes, and Oregon's seven electoral votes would clock in for a total of 196.

John Koza, chairman of National Popular Vote, Inc. -- the group that is backing the effort, argued that the measure would amplify Oregonians' votes.

"The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would make every Oregon voter more powerful in electing a president," Koza said in a statement. "This is the constitutionally conservative way to ensure that every voter in every state is politically relevant in every presidential election while preserving the Electoral College."

But not all states have responded positively to the proposal. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak opted last week to veto his state's bill granting electoral college votes to the national popular vote winner that had passed both the state Senate and Assembly. After a similar bill passed the Maine Senate last month, the measure failed in the state's House last week.

The Electoral College effectively results in voters casting ballots not for their desired presidential candidates, but for 538 electors who in turn select candidates. The mechanism clinched President Donald Trump the 2016 presidential victory despite Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

And the issue has already reached the 2020 race. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said during a CNN town hall in March that she supported doing away with the electoral college.

"My view is that every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College -- and every vote counts," the Massachusetts senator said. Other candidates have since taken up the same position.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4243

Reported Deaths: 153
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah116559
Marion96025
Washington73917
Clackamas31211
Deschutes1250
Umatilla1163
Linn1159
Polk9812
Lane733
Yamhill707
Jackson660
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Jefferson330
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine231
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln120
Morrow110
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111951

Reported Deaths: 4172
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles550012362
Riverside7486323
San Diego7481269
Orange6261147
San Bernardino5246204
Alameda339096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco258842
Kern225038
San Mateo210484
Tulare184484
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Imperial163427
Contra Costa145037
Sacramento140056
Ventura107833
San Joaquin85834
Kings7464
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5534
Monterey53010
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2691
Placer2159
Santa Cruz2132
Yolo21124
Napa1123
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado900
San Benito872
Sutter462
Del Norte450
Butte440
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake210
Inyo201
Amador190
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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