Oregon Passes National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

Oregon’s House has voted to pass National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, joining the state’s Senate.  Chief Sponsor Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell explained that the Compact “is about giving all voters in the United States, regardless of where they live, the ability to be heard in the most important of our elections. Today, we make Oregon a battleground state.”

Oregon’s governor Kate Brown has stated she supports the proposal and she “has always believed that every vote matters.”

The Compact is a way to guarantee that the candidate who wins the national popular vote will also win the electoral college and become president.  The Constitution gives each state the power to award its electoral college votes as it sees fit.  Right now, all states give their electoral votes to the plurality winner of that state (except Nebraska and Maine).  However, under the Compact, each member state will give its votes to the winner of the national popular vote. 

 The Compact will not go into effect until states with 270 total electoral votes join—the number needed to secure a majority of electoral college votes.  Accordingly, the states will not award their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote until there are enough electoral votes pledged to guarantee the winner of the national popular vote becomes president.

Fifteen jurisdictions—Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, New Mexico, Delaware—have joined the Compact so far.

These states have 189 electoral votes between them—70% of the way to 270.  If Oregon adds its 7 electoral votes to the Compact, there will be 196 votes committed.