Nevada bill giving electoral votes to popular-vote winner heads to governor’s desk

Posted at 9:57 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 23:57:04-04

Nevada will send legislation to the governor’s desk that would give the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote — and could become the 15th state to do so.

The Nevada Senate passed AB 186 by 12-8 on Tuesday, which would include the state in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and allocate its electors to the national popular-vote winner — as opposed to the winner of the popular vote in the state — in the next presidential election.

The measure, which passed the state Assembly in April, will now go to Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. CNN has reached out to Sisolak’s office for comment.

Other members of the pact are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia.

The most recent addition, New Mexico, put the total at 189 electoral votes. The agreement will go into effect only if the cumulative total of the states’ electoral votes surpasses the 270 necessary for a majority. Nevada’s six electoral votes could boost the total to 195, and similar legislation is awaiting gubernatorial consideration in Maine, which could contribute the state’s four electoral votes.

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 a popular-vote majority by nearly 3 million votes.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has pushed the issue into the 2020 spotlight, saying 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 Democrat said. Other Democratic candidates, including Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, have since taken the same position.