Correction: Delaware-Electoral College story
DOVER, Del. (AP) — In a story March 7 about legislation regarding the National Popular Vote, The Associated Press erroneously reported the results of a Delaware Senate vote. The Senate approved the legislation 14-7, not 17-4.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Delaware Senate passes national popular vote initiative
The state Senate has voted to have Delaware join other states that want to pool their Electoral College votes for the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote
By RANDALL CHASE
DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state Senate voted Thursday to have Delaware join other states that want to pool their Electoral College votes for the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.
The legislation, approved on a 14-7 vote, requires Delaware to cast its three electoral votes for the national popular vote winner, rather than the winner of the popular vote in Delaware. Two Republicans joined majority Democrats in voting for the bill, which now goes to the Democrat-led House.
Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have voted to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.
The initiative was launched in 2006 after Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the presidential election to Republican George Bush, sparking renewed criticism of the Electoral College system. The movement, which gained steam after Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016, is an attempt to establish direct popular election of the president without having to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College.
“We are not getting rid of the Electoral College. ... This is all about making every vote relevant in every state,” said former Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis, who is helping lead the reform effort.
Supporters of the measure say that, under the current winner-take-all Electoral College format used in 48 states, presidential candidates take solidly red or blue states for granted. They instead focus their time, attention and money on roughly a dozen “battleground” or “swing” states. If enough states band together and agree to award their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner — regardless of the preferences of voters in those individual states — candidates would battle for vote margins in states that are currently ignored, advocates say.
“This bill makes every vote equal, makes every vote matter,” said Chris Pearson, a Vermont state senator helping lead the reform effort.
The compact would take effect once it has been joined by states possessing a combined total of 270 or more electoral votes.
Critics of the initiative say it is an end-run around the Constitution that would lead to legal challenges and contested election results. They also say it would disenfranchise voters who don’t live in the major population centers that would be targeted by candidates while ignoring the majority will of voters in individual states.