New Mexico is the latest state to join a compact pledging to devote its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in future presidential elections if enough states sign on.
Democratic state Sen. Carlos Cisneros cosponsored the bill, which was signed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday. Cisneros said he hopes the elimination of the “archaic” Electoral College will give New Mexico more influence in national elections.
“Presidential candidates don’t even bother to come into the state anymore because they really don’t need to. They’ll go after states that have a large number of delegate votes and exclude New Mexico,” Cisneros said. “For us it is crucial that the election for president is predicated on popular vote rather than the traditional and historical way of doing that.”
New Mexico is the 14th state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, bringing it to 189 electoral votes. The states will not shift their vote allocations until their combined electoral votes equal 270, enough to decide a presidential election.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia have also joined the compact.
Cisneros sponsored similar legislation last year but said it did not pass because the legislature began working on it too late. He said it also failed because some members of the body saw it as “anti-President Trump” and a move to hinder Republican candidates.
In 2016, President Donald Trump won the presidential election with 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. But Clinton won the popular vote, garnering 48.5% to Trump’s 46.4%.
The Electoral College has already become a topic of conversation in the 2020 election. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced at a CNN town hall last month that she would like to eliminate the system. Other candidates have said the same.