An effort to award Delaware’s three Electoral College votes in presidential elections to the winner of the national popular vote stalled Wednesday in a Senate committee. The National Popular Vote legislation, House Bill 55, is part of a nationwide movement to change the Electoral College’s perceived flaws from the 2000 presidential contest in which Vice President Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
Representatives from National Popular Vote, a California-based advocacy group promoting the legislation, told senators that adopting their proposed law would make Delaware more relevant in presidential contests. Delaware’s heavy Democratic voter-registration rolls have made it a solidly blue state in recent elections.
In the 2008 election, 98 percent of campaign spending occurred in 15 competitive states, said Scott Drexel with the National Popular Vote group. “Delaware is ignored because it’s small and it’s not a battleground,” Drexel said. Critics of the bill said Delaware could end up turning over its three electoral votes to a candidate that the majority of Delawareans did not vote for.