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.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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