March 12, 2019

Senate passes presidential popular vote bill

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In a party-line decision, the state Senate voted 25-16 on Tuesday night to make New Mexico part of a multistate compact that would elect the president by popular vote.

All 16 Republican senators opposed the measure, House Bill 55.

The compact would take effect when states possessing a majority of the electoral votes, — a total of 270 — have joined the compact. So far 11 states and Washington, D.C., have joined.

New Mexico has five electoral votes.

Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, said the current system keeps the state’s interests in play during presidential campaigns.

Senate Democrats disagreed, saying a few swing states have inordinate power under the electoral college.

The bill next goes to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her consideration.