Oregon Secretary of State to push for national popular vote
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s secretary of state, who as a lawmaker championed the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, has joined the advisory board of a movement that is pushing states to adopt the one person-one vote system.
Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, will now be advising National Popular Vote, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the compact in states across the country, her office announced Monday.
The movement needs 270 Electoral College votes for national popular vote to be adopted in America. It already has secured 196 and aims to gain more this year. Under the current system, each state’s electoral votes go to the candidate who won the popular vote in that state, with the runner-up getting nothing. Nebraska and Maine are the only exceptions.
“One-person-one-vote is critical to the foundation of our democracy and National Popular Vote ensures that this principle is upheld in one of our most sacred democratic processes – selecting our president,” Fagan said in a statement.
The board she’s joining advises the non-profit National Popular Vote organization in its mission of reforming the electoral college through the enactment of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
When she was state senator, Fagan was one of the chief sponsors of legislation to have Oregon join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which lawmakers passed in 2019. So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia have signed on.
Electoral College supporters say the current system adheres to federalism by preserving the role of states in presidential elections. But opponents say the system violates the one person-one vote principle, encourages candidates to ignore states that are either firmly Democratic or Republican, and gives disproportionate power to voters in just a few states.
The NPV advisory board is made up of a bipartisan group of current and former elected officials, including Secretary of State Jena Griswold of Colorado and her counterpart in Minnesota, Steve Simon. Like Fagan. both are Democrats.
Republicans on the board include former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele.