Fresh off a divisive election season, the Senate on Monday approved legislation adding New Mexico to an interstate compact aimed at guaranteeing the president – in future elections – would be elected by national popular vote. The measure, Senate Bill 42, passed the chamber on a party-line 26-16 vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, and now moves on to the House. “By doing our part to move toward a national popular vote, we can begin the process of regaining the voters’ trust in our elections and ensure their voices are equal to every voter across the country,” said Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, the bill’s sponsor. However, several Republican critics of the legislation accused Democrats of pushing the change in response to President Donald Trump’s victory. “Just because we didn’t get our way means we pout and change the entire system,” complained Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell.
The Roundhouse debate comes on the heels of a presidential election that generated renewed debate over the Electoral College.
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College despite receiving nearly 2.9 million fewer votes nationwide. Clinton carried New Mexico and won all five of the state’s electoral votes, despite not holding any public campaign rallies here. Trump made two campaign stops in Albuquerque.
A national popular vote system would take effect if enacted by enough states to form a majority of the Electoral College. Under such a scenario, a constitutional amendment would not be needed to make the change, as the Electoral College would not technically be abolished.
Full Article: Senate approves popular vote for presidency on 26-16 vote | Albuquerque Journal.