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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.

Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
Columbia213732
Union175924
Wasco160631
Lincoln159122
Crook144724
Hood River128934
Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
Baker116018
Curry86512
Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4003787

Reported Deaths: 64620
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles131165624721
Riverside3112424667
San Bernardino3095025265
San Diego3011003805
Orange2856205146
Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
Fresno1057321746
Alameda980131290
Ventura845891046
Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
Sierra1370
Alpine910
Unassigned810
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