NY reaffirms support for popular vote

ALBANY -- New York on Monday reiterated its support to change the country's vote for president from the Electoral College to a popular vote.

Just a day before Election Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that keeps New York on the list of states that support the National Popular Vote contract.

Cuomo initially signed the bill in 2014, but signed the updated version Monday because it was set to expire at the end of 2018.

The new law puts New York on the list of states supporting the measure indefinitely.

“This action will help ensure every vote is treated equally and places New York at the forefront of the battle for fairer elections and strengthen our democracy,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The effort to move the country away from the Electoral College hasn't received enough national support to become the law of the land.

Currently, the compact has 61 percent or 165 of the required 270 votes to drop the Electoral College model, which will be used in Tuesday's presidential race.

Once enough states pass similar legislation to comprise 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes, New York would agree to award its 29 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“Only in the world's greatest democracy, the person who receives the most votes for president is not necessarily the winner,” Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz, D-Bronx, who sponsors the bill, said in a statement.

“National Popular Vote would change that, and it would mean that every American's vote in every state would count equally.”

Under Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, a federal amendment is not necessary to enact the change, since states have the authority to award electoral votes in any way they choose.

But without the majority of states on board, the change can't be made.

In addition to New York, the compact has been legally enacted in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as Washington D.C.


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