Delaware has joined a growing list of states that have passed laws to potentially allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in future presidential elections.
Democratic Gov. John Carney signed a bill into law on Thursday that would allocate Delaware’s three electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote should enough states pass similar laws.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which Delaware joins, would only have an impact on the outcome of a presidential race if enough states whose electoral votes add up to 270 – the minimum needed to capture the White House – join in. Delaware’s addition to the compact puts the total at 184.
Twelve other states have signed on to the compact: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and most recently Colorado. All the states leaned Democratic in the last presidential contest.
“The intent of this legislation is pretty simple,” Carney said in a statement to CNN. “We ought to make sure that every American has their vote counted, and that every vote matters. That’s how we choose governors, local representatives and school board members. The same should be true when we’re electing our president.”
Most states have winner-take-all laws in place dictating that their electors go to the candidate who captured the state’s popular vote. Maine and Nebraska opt to proportionally split their electors based on the vote.
The Electoral College has entered the national conversation as the 2020 election nears. Critics are quick to point out that two of the last three presidents have won the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. In 2016, President Donald Trump won the presidential vote with 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232 votes. But Clinton won the popular vote, garnering 48.5% of the vote to Trump’s 46.4%.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.