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Oregon set to join ‘compact’ of states that would award electors to winner of national popular vote (WE)

20 April 2019


Washington Examiner title: Oregon set to join ‘compact’ of states that would award electors to winner of national popular vote

Published: 9 April 2019

“Oregon is on the way to joining a group of states looking to overhaul the Electoral College system.

In a 17-12 vote, the Oregon Senate passed a bill that would award Oregon’s seven electoral votes to the winner of the U.S. popular vote instead of the candidate who won the state. It now goes to the state House, which has passed it several times already, and then head to Gov. Kate Brown, who says she supports it.

If approved, Oregon would join 14 other states and the District of Columbia in the National Popular Vote Compact, an agreement to allocate participating states’ electors to whoever wins the popular vote for the presidency. To be effective, the compact would need to have enough states to comprise 270 electoral votes. Should Oregon join, it would bring the count to 196 total votes.

There was a spirited debate in the Senate chamber over the vote Tuesday, with some senators saying it is the most equitable way to elect a president, while others said passage would make it harder for conservative or Republican candidates to win.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Dembrow, a chief sponsor of the legislation, said electing a leader by popular national vote is the fairest method for people of all political backgrounds.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m a Democrat or a Republican, in a blue state or a red state,” Dembrow said. “I have as much of a chance of influencing the election as someone in any state in the country. This is what ‘one person, one vote’ is all about, colleagues. It’s the fruition of what it means to be an American.”

Some Republicans objected to the bill, though. State Sen. Alan Olsen said he thought that it would favor Democrats unfairly. The two most recent presidents to win the Electoral College but lose the popular vote were both Republicans: President Trump in 2016 and President George W. Bush in 2000.

“If we get to the national popular vote, I don’t ever see a Republican president … in the future,” Olsen said.

Some of the larger states that have signed on to the National Popular Vote Compact include California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey.”



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