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Lawmakers Say Oregon Should Count More In Presidential Elections

OPB | March 12, 2009 5:46 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:12 a.m. | Salem, OR

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By Chris Lehman

The state of Oregon is one step closer to joining the national movement to elect the President of the United States by popular vote.

Supporters of the plan say it’s a way to even the playing field and give smaller states more say in who becomes President.

The Oregon House approved the plan Thursday.  Salem correspondent Chris Lehman has more.


Here’s how it would work.  Any state that signs up with the National Popular Vote movement pledges to give its Electoral College votes to the Presidential candidate who wins the most overall votes nationwide.  

If enough states agree, the U.S. would avoid situations like what happened in 2000 when George W. Bush won the Electoral College vote despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore.

Backers of the plan say there’s another benefit.

Republican Representative Vicki Berger of Salem says Oregon voters would have the same clout as people in more populated states.

Vicki Berger:  “Part of the problem is that during election time, when all issues are put on the table, we simply don’t count.  Florida counts.  Ohio counts.  Pennsylvania counts.  Oregon — not so much.”

Opponents said the plan violates the U.S. Constitution.  Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Hawaii have already joined the compact. The Oregon bill now heads to the Senate.


Online:

Oregon House Bill 2588

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