Oregon could become the next 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.
The state’s Senate passed a bill calling for Oregon to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia have already entered into. The states will not shift their vote allocations until their combined electoral votes equal 270, enough to decide a presidential election. Currently, the number stands at 189, and Oregon has seven electoral votes.
The bill, which passed the state Senate 17 to 12, now heads to Oregon’s House for consideration. Should it pass, it would be up to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to either sign the bill into law or veto it.
Brown’s spokesperson, Nikki Fisher, told CNN on Wednesday that the governor supports the proposal and she “has always believed that every vote matters.”
Last week, New Mexico joined the compact, which was already adopted by California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia.
In a statement released Tuesday, National Popular Vote, the group pushing for states to adopt the compact, praised the move by Oregon’s state Senate.
“This is the fully constitutional way to ensure that every voter is politically relevant in every presidential election while preserving the Electoral College as the founders intended,” John Koza, the group’s chairman, said.
The Electoral College has increasingly come under fire from progressives since the 2016 election when President Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton but won a majority of the Electoral College votes.
The system 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.
CNN’s Katie Bernard contributed to this report.