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Nevada Governor Vetoes Popular Vote

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Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday vetoed legislation to commit Nevada’s six electoral votes to a group of states agreeing to elect the president by popular vote.

Assembly Bill 186 would have joined Nevada to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which is an agreement between states to pool their electoral votes and voting results together into one aggregate pot.

“Once effective, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact could diminish the role of smaller states like Nevada in national electoral contests and force Nevada’s electors to side with whoever wins the nationwide popular vote, rather than the candidate Nevadans choose,” Sisolak said in a statement obtained by the Nevada Independent.

Fifteen jurisdictions (14 states plus Washington, D.C.)  have formally joined the compact, representing 189 electoral votes.

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The compact becomes official when that number hits 270, or enough votes to elect the president of the United States, according to its terms.

“As Nevada’s governor, I am obligated to make such decisions according to my own conscience. In cases like this, where Nevada’s interests could diverge from the interests of large states, I will always stand up for Nevada,” Sisolak said.

The bill was approved 23-17 in the state Assembly and 12-8 in the state Senate.

The NPVIC does not abolish the Electoral College, which requires amending the Constitution.

Rather, by binding electors to vote for candidates achieving a plurality outside their own state, it achieves the results of a popular vote.

Current compact states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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Similar legislation has been introduced in at least nine other states.

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