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

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: 41348

Reported Deaths: 649
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8955159
Marion5684107
Washington561274
Umatilla332844
Clackamas306165
Lane229427
Malheur189737
Jackson16176
Deschutes109813
Yamhill98315
Linn78815
Polk64315
Jefferson6009
Morrow5436
Lincoln51113
Union4652
Benton4336
Klamath4053
Wasco34715
Douglas3425
Hood River2771
Josephine2623
Columbia2531
Clatsop2370
Coos2360
Baker1143
Crook1002
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa402
Lake340
Harney210
Sherman180
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 898799

Reported Deaths: 17305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2968216974
Riverside657571279
San Bernardino617261070
Orange580101440
San Diego53928867
Kern33669416
Fresno30471436
Sacramento25094482
Santa Clara23881388
Alameda23133456
San Joaquin21528488
Contra Costa18413240
Stanislaus17509396
Tulare17425284
Ventura14124162
Imperial12700336
San Francisco12032140
Monterey1128487
San Mateo11002159
Santa Barbara9715120
Merced9439154
Sonoma9163134
Kings820183
Solano728674
Marin7045128
Madera498174
San Luis Obispo412132
Placer408857
Yolo314458
Butte304652
Santa Cruz275325
Napa192815
Shasta183930
Sutter183712
San Benito143215
El Dorado13084
Yuba129310
Mendocino112121
Tehama8528
Lassen7641
Lake67915
Glenn6523
Nevada6038
Humboldt5619
Colusa5496
Calaveras33917
Amador31716
Tuolumne2624
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1880
Del Norte1781
Mono1762
Mariposa782
Plumas630
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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