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The New Mexico Senate late Tuesday passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart and Rep. Gail Chasey to have New Mexico join the National Popular Vote Compact. By signing on to this compact, New Mexico agrees that, once states accounting for the majority of the Electoral College votes have joined the compact, New Mexico’s electors will cast their votes for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.

“Too often presidential elections focus on a few swing states,” Stewart said. “That means that many people never hear from the candidates and their voices are overpowered by a handful of voters in states like Ohio. National Popular Vote ensures that every vote in every state counts in every presidential election.”

The compact goes into effect when enough states have joined the compact to account for 270 of the 538 votes in the Electoral College. Currently 12 states have enacted the compact, for a total of 181 electoral votes. If signed into law, HB 55 would bring the total to 13 states and 186 electoral votes.

“I carried the first National Popular Vote legislation, which passed the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2009,” Stewart said. “This isn’t a new idea; it’s an idea whose time has come. Americans need to know that their voices are heard when electing the President of the United States.”

Under the compact, the national popular vote winner is the candidate who receives the most popular votes from all 50 states (and Washington, D.C.) combined on Election Day. When the Electoral College meets in mid-December after a presidential election, the national popular vote winner would receive all of the electoral votes of the compact member states, and, as a result, become the president-elect.

HB55 now goes to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham who can sign it into law, veto it or pocket veto it by taking no action on the bill.

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