Oregon governor signs bill giving state's electoral votes to national popular vote winner

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will give the state’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Oregon is now the 15th state, plus the District of Columbia, to pledge its Electoral College votes as part of the National Popular Vote compact.

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“I think it’s really important to be a part of the national conversation regarding the presidential election,” Brown said Wednesday as she signed the bill into law, according to The Oregonian. “I think it will encourage candidates to spend more time in states like ours, speaking directly to our voters.”

The compact will go into effect only if enough states join to bring their total Electoral College votes to 270. Oregon’s addition of seven Electoral College votes brings the current total to 196.

Brown said she thinks Oregon being a part of the compact will compel presidential candidates to spend more time in all the states, particularly hers.

"I think it will encourage candidates to spend more time in states like ours, candidates who are running for president speaking directly to our voters," she said, according to CNN. "I think it will help encourage them to talk about issues that ... Oregonians care more about. And I think it's really important for Oregon to be part of the national conversation regarding the presidential election."

Brown’s signing comes after the Democratic-led Oregon House passed the measure last week largely along party lines.

Since the Electoral College was created in 1781, there have been five times a presidential candidate was elected without winning the popular vote — the most recent being the 2016 presidential election between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally MORE.

Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 3 million votes but lost the Electoral College vote to Trump decisively.