The New York State Senate today passed legislation to make the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact permanent. The bill (S5478), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), would bolster efforts to make the candidate who wins the majority of the nationwide popular vote President – ensuring that every state and every vote is important.
Senator Griffo said, “As this year’s presidential campaign process has shown us so far, New Yorkers will get excited and involved in an election when they feel empowered to make a difference in whomever we elect president. That’s how democracy is supposed to work, rather than presidential candidates focusing only on a handful of winner-take-all ‘battleground’ states that historically have decided who wins or loses. By allowing New York to join the National Popular Vote Compact, we can ensure that presidential candidates take no state for granted.”
Under the Electoral College system, presidential candidates do not invest time, money, or attention in states that have voted historically and consistently for the candidate of one party over the other. The Electoral College’s winner take all system has proven to be inadequate, and has concentrated the voice of millions of Americans into the outcome of one state’s election.
The Compact has been adopted in nine other states (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington) and the District of Columbia. Together, this represents 165 electoral votes, or 61 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the law nationally.
In New York, the compact was originally enacted in 2014 and is set to expire in 2018. This measure would permanently extend the existing state law and would allow a sufficient amount of time for more states to participate in the compact and have it take effect.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.