Nevada Democratic governor vetoes national popular vote bill

Nevada's Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have pledged the state’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

"After thoughtful deliberation, I have decided to veto Assembly Bill 186," Sisolak said in a statement.

“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.”

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“I recognize that many of my fellow Nevadans may disagree on this point and I appreciate the legislature’s thoughtful consideration of this important issue," he added.

The legislation, approved by the state's Senate last week, would add Nevada to the National Popular Vote interstate compact and pledge the state's six Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

The move would effectively abolish the Electoral College, which is used to determine who wins the White House, and instead rely on the popular vote to determine the presidential winner.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to join 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.

Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico all approved laws to join the initiative this year, bringing the pact up to 189 electoral votes — 81 short of the 270 necessary for it to take effect.

Attempts to get Nevada to pledge its six electoral votes to the national popular vote winner has failed twice, with attempts in the 2017 and 2009 legislative sessions failing to make it to the governor’s desk.

This year’s effort was contentious in Nevada’s state Legislature, being approved 23-17 in the state Assembly and 12-8 in the state Senate.

The national popular vote compact has been proposed for years but has picked up steam recently, although almost exclusively in Democratic-controlled states.

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