After a Decade of Delays, National Popular Vote Bill Gets a Hearing in the Oregon Senate

On Wednesday, efforts to add Oregon to the roster of states calling for a National Popular Vote took a symbolic step forward: A bill received a hearing on the floor of the state Senate.

House Bill 2927 would award Oregon's Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote under an interstate agreement, which specifies that the bill would only take effect after states with a majority of the Electoral College have passed similar legislation.

The idea has gained momentum since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election despite winning the popular vote.

The Senate version of the bill is a little different: Senate Bill 825 would allow for voters across the country to decide together the fate of the National Popular Vote without constitutionally abolishing the electoral college.

Similar legislation has passed the Oregon House three times in the past 10 years—only to be blocked by Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) each time. The bill's prospects in the Senate this time remain uncertain.

Members of the public testified in favor and against both bills.

"I'm here to oppose both bills. Already, Oregon experiences a popular vote… I have never felt disenfranchised even though my vote has never been recognized because the Democrats are in control," said Oregon resident Rebecca Roth during the public hearing.

Many others seemed to support House Bill 2927.

"My overriding principle is that everyone's vote should have same weight, regardless of whether they live in a big state or a little state, a battleground state or a deep-red or deep-blue state," stated Portland resident Ken Corum.

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