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On April 9, the Oregon state Senate voted 17-12 to pass legislation (SB 870) to join the National Popular Vote (NPV) compact. On Wednesday, the state House of Representatives voted 37-22 in favor of the legislation.

The bill is now headed to the desk of Democratic Governor Kate Brown. Nikki Fisher, the governor’s deputy press secretary, told HuffPost: “The Governor has always believed that every vote matters and supported National Popular Vote since 2009 as Secretary of State.”

In a 2009 letter signaling her support for the NPV legislation, then-Secretary of State Brown wrote about the impact of the 2008 Democratic primary election, and how “when voters believe that their vote affects the outcome of an election, or moreover, when they feel their vote matters,” engagement increases.

The text of the legislation reads in part:

Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each presidential slate in each State of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate.

The chief election official of each member state shall designate the presidential slate with the largest national popular vote total as the “national popular vote winner.”

The presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment in that official’s own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association with the national popular vote winner.

In short, as described by the National Popular Vote official website, the NPV is a state-by-state process that “would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

Currently, a candidate needs to win 270 of 538 Electoral votes in order to become president. In 48 states and D.C., the candidate who receives the most votes is awarded all of the state’s Electoral votes. Only Nebraska and Maine eschew this winner-take-all formula for a more complex distribution of Electoral votes.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington state have all passed and signed the NPV. These states account for 189 of the nation’s 538 electoral votes.

If Oregon joins the compact, the count will stand at 196.

In order for the NPV to work, it must be passed by enough states that the electoral votes bound to the compact reaches 270. However, the movement isn’t chugging along as smoothly as many of its advocates would like. For example, on May 30, Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada vetoed the state’s NPV legislation.

The NPV website claims that the compact is “a constitutionally conservative, state-based approach that preserves the Electoral College, state control of elections, and the power of the states to control how the President is elected.”

Others are pushing back on the idea.

In March, the Wall Street Journal editorial board published an article defending the Electoral College:

The founders designed the Electoral College to help ensure that states with diverse preferences could cohere under a single federal government. Anyone who thinks this concern is irrelevant today hasn’t been paying attention to the current polarization in American politics. The Electoral College helps check polarization by forcing presidential candidates to campaign in competitive states across the country, instead of spending all their time trying to motivate turnout in populous partisan strongholds.

The WSJ editorial board also notes that our current system provides stability in the event of recounts. A “nationwide recount” could prove a nightmare, they write.

In the video below, Tara Ross, legal scholar and author of “Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College,” explains why the Electoral College is important, and why adopting the NPV would be a dangerous proposition:

  • Pj says:

    Your votes for the presidency will not count. Your traitors to the constitution and laws. So all you states who pass this bill will not have a one single vote counted in the election.

  • LST says:

    There would be no real incentive to vote, worthless demonrats would steal every election. So much for “we the people.” or votes wouldn’t really mean shit anymore.

  • Adam Selene says:

    I am appalled, embarrassed, and highly disappointed in the State of Oregon Legislative Bodies, and I want all persons to know I see this step as being a blow to the Constitution and a spit in the face to our Founding Fathers. I can think of no better reason to move out of Oregon as this childish and vindictive action has me suffering from PTSD. The Electoral College was founded for an obvious reason and Oregon has just demonstrated why the Electoral College is necessary. Three cities control the way Oregon is run and the rest of the state is ignored and vilified. How would these large cities feel if the rural and small town residents refused to grow food for them? This is the way we feel that we are being treated, with lack of respect and disregard for our needs. Small town America and farmers are getting the crappy end of the stick and I am sick of the “me, me, me” infantile selfish attitude that is shown to them.

  • Jim says:

    Always remember the Office title is President of the United States and NOT the people of the United States. The States elect their President according to the Constitution. Amendments/changes require, at present 35 states to vote in favor of such change. Long and short, wring your hands as much as you want, the Office remains under the control of the States

  • abolishliberalism says:

    then the votes from this traitor state should be Null and void and not count in the elections! These “States” cant just take it upon themselves to change the rules because they are too afraid of Trump or the GOP winning the election. The democrats are really trying to stack the deck in their favor…. they really are trying to start a true dictatorship. do they think the whole rest of this country is going to sit back and just let them control our elections and think its OK? When the rest of us march on the capitol by the millions and physically over throw these Democrat socialist dictatorships they are hoping for, they will see just what we mean buy America will NEVER fall to socialism!!!

  • abolishliberalism says:

    So how is this fair again?? They want to take each voters vote in the state and even if Trump wins 99.9% of the votes in that state, if the democrat running against him wins the Entire country’s “Popular” vote, that state will give their electoral votes to the democrat.
    tell me again how THAT is fair? how THAT makes every vote count? if this is how they are going to go, then Trump NEEDS to make it a law without getting congress involved, to enforce Voter ID, no ID, no vote!! have ALL the election sites in the whole country hooked into the same system and ALL ids ran before allowing you to vote, if it comes u as already voted, good bye, come again in 4 years!!!

  • abolishliberalism says:

    This is just a way for the dems to “Stack the deck” in their favor and steal the election from its true winner… If I were Trump id go out today with my PEN and outlaw / Ban this type of voting, its NOT our system, its NOT our way and it puts our democracy in jeopardy! these Democrat run states do not get to just make the rules as they go along because they lost an election… Also, what if Trump DID win the popular vote under this new democrat way of stealing an election? what if it backfired like most of the democrats ideas of staking the deck in their favor? would they still abide by their own rules or would they do a 180 and award the votes to the rightfull winner of the state? Talk about Treason…. these Dems are trying to stomp out the constitution, trying to stomp out our election process, stomp out our very democracy …and the sick part is not one of them will admit it or seems to even care so long as their party gets the power. I hope , if this actually works and they try DO steal the election from the GOP, I hope every single red state retaliates by A total Ban on ALL abortions, a total ban on ALL Gay rights and they all go back to the JIM Crow days… It might be time to just take back this country by any means we can… if the dems want to play hardball, we can all play hard ball..and a lot harder then they can! If EVERY Red state just told the Government “F-U!, We dont have to listen to you, we have States rights!” there would be NOTHING the dem. government can do to stop us!

  • CF