Maine is poised to become the next state to enact legislation that would give its Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.
In a vote on Tuesday, the state’s Senate voted by a slim 19-16 margin to approve the measure. According to Bangor Daily News, the legislation is now headed to Maine’s House, where it is likely to pass.
As The Hill noted, “If passed by the state House and signed by Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D), the state would become the latest to join National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which is an agreement among a number of states to give their electoral college votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote.”
The Bangor Daily News reported, “If it becomes law, Maine would join 15 other jurisdictions in an interstate compact aimed at electing presidents by popular vote.”
It’s time to end the Electoral College
Five presidents have been elected without having won the popular vote. Two of those instances happened since 2000.
That includes Donald Trump, of course, who lost the national popular vote to Hillary Clinton by roughly 3 million votes in 2016 – which, as The New York Times noted, is a “wider margin than 10 winning candidates enjoyed and the biggest deficit for an incoming president since the 19th century.”
In other words, the Electoral College is increasingly outdated. Most folks recognize that the candidate who wins the most votes – whether on a local, state or national level – should win the race.
Luckily, more than a dozen states have recognized that it’s time to end this arcane way of choosing the most powerful leader in the world. On Tuesday, Maine sent signals that it could be the 15th.
So far, the 14 states (and Washington D.C.) that have adopted legislation to award their Electoral College votes to the popular vote winner make up a total of 189 electors – shy of the 270 needed for the compact to take effect.
But the good news is that similar legislation is pending in a handful of other states – meaning a growing number of state governments are coming to the realization that it’s time to end the Electoral College system.