Maine Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote

The Maine Senate has passed a bill that would award the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the state chamber approved the bill in a 19-16 vote on Tuesday.

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If passed by the state House and signed by Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D), the state would become the latest to join the National Popular Vote interstate compact, which is an agreement among a number of states to give their Electoral College votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote.

So far, 14 states and Washington, D.C., have joined the pact, which will only take effect if a number of states holding the majority of the Electoral College’s 538 electoral votes join the agreement. 

Since the formal body was created in 1787, there have only been five instances where a presidential candidate has been elected without winning the popular vote. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE was the most recent to win the office without winning the popular vote. During the 2016 election, Trump lost the popular vote to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE by nearly 3 million votes. However, Trump won the election after he managed to secure 304 electoral votes.

According to the local paper, the measure has faced some criticism from conservatives who argue the bill will minimize Maine’s voice in the presidential election.