- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed Wednesday a bill to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, bringing to 16 the number of jurisdictions that have joined the accord to bypass the Electoral College.

In doing so, Oregon became the 15th state and 16th jurisdiction — the District of Columbia has also signed on — to enter the compact, bringing the total to 196 electoral votes, 74 shy of the 270 needed for the agreement to take effect.

“I think you all know I’ve been a big supporter of this since I was in the legislature and then as Secretary of State,” said Ms. Brown at the signing ceremony, as shown in a video posted on the National Popular Vote’s Facebook page.

John Koza, who heads the National Popular Vote and attended the bill-signing ceremony, said that the compact “significantly amplifies and empowers Oregon, and the voice of every Oregon voter in electing a president.”

“Everyone’s vote will count directly towards their choice for president,” said Mr. Koza, whose group announced that the bill had been signed, in a statement.



Meanwhile, Maine could become the next NPV state: The Maine House voted Wednesday to join the pact by 77-69, reversing an earlier vote after seven Democrats changed their vote. The Maine Senate has already passed the measure.

While the NPV bills the compact as bipartisan, the charge has been led by Democrat-controlled state legislatures determined to avoid a repeat of the 2016 presidential election, which saw Republican Donald Trump lose the popular vote but win the electoral vote.

Under the NPV agreement, electors whose states belong to the compact would agree to cast their ballots for the winner of the national popular vote, instead of the candidate winning the popular vote in their states.

 

 

The Oregon Republican Party denounced Senate Bill 870 after it passed the House last week on a party-line vote. No House Republicans supported the bill, and only two Republicans broke ranks to back the measure in the Senate. Three Senate Democrats also voted against it, according to LegiScan.

“Today’s signing of Senate Bill 870 by Governor Kate Brown completes the betrayal of Oregon’s voters,” said Oregon GOP spokesman Kevin Hoar in a statement. “Kate Brown and her abusive legislative supermajority have told Oregonians that their voices in Presidential elections no longer matter, only the voices of Democratic politicians and of voters in other states do. Republicans will not forget this betrayal nor will the voters of Oregon.”

Oregon has seven electoral votes.

“This is an outrageous betrayal of the citizens of smaller states like Oregon, and will discourage candidates from seeking their support,” he said.

Three Democrat-led states — Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico — had previously passed National Popular Votes bills this year. In Nevada, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak vetoed the bill, saying it would dilute the state’s influence in presidential elections.

Supporters of the compact argue that it would make every vote count by diverting attention from a handful of battleground states, while foes say it would make smaller states irrelevant by sending candidates to large population centers such as Los Angeles and New York City.

 

 

In Maine, LD 816 must be voted on again in the state Senate before heading to the desk of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who has not said whether she will sign it. Maine has four electoral votes.

The Maine Republican Party said on Facebook that there could be another vote Thursday on the House measure, adding, “Your vote and your voice [were] just given away by Maine House Democrats.”

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