The Nevada Senate passed legislation that would add the state to a growing interstate compact which would tie electoral votes in presidential elections to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.
The state’s lower chamber passed the bill last month in a 23-17 vote. The Senate on Tuesday approved the bill along party lines, passing 12-9-1.
Assembly Bill 186 now heads to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak for final approval.
The bill adds Nevada to the the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, requiring the state’s six electoral college votes to go to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The compact doesn’t take effect until enough states join to secure 270 out of 538 of electoral votes nationwide – the amount needed to win the presidency.
Nevada would become the 15th state to pass a national popular vote measure if signed into law.
The non-profit group National Popular Vote Inc. says the compact would give Nevadans’ more voice in presidential election.
“The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would significantly amplify the voice of every Nevada voter in electing a President,” said John Koza, National Popular Vote’s chairman. “This is the constitutionally conservative way to ensure that every voter in every state is politically relevant in every presidential election while preserving the Electoral College.”
Critics of the legislation, like the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI), have said joining the compact would do the opposite.
“Nevada lawmakers are, essentially, weighing a proposal to disenfranchise every single one of their citizens out of the right to have a voice in presidential elections,” NPRI communications director Michael Schaus previously said. “Given the partisan nature of the bill, it is clear that Democrats believe this undermining of Nevada voters would help the party’s electoral chances in the near term. Party politics, however, shouldn’t come at the expense of Nevadans' right to have their voices heard.”
Colorado recently passed a national popular vote law, which is being challenged by a group seeking to put the issue on the ballot in November.