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 TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE.

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