New York Moves U.S. Closer to Killing the Electoral College

The New York Assembly has approved a bill that moves the country closer to using the national popular vote instead of the electoral college in presidential elections.

The bill would require New York to award their electoral college votes to the winner of the nationwide vote, regardless of who wins the state. The plan won’t go into effect until enough states pass similar legislation to ensure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

From the Times Union:

Several fellow NYC Democrats said they believed it would prevent presidential candidates from taking deep Blue New York for granted — how often, for instance, has Barack Obama felt the need to campaign through the Bronx?
And the Capital Region’s Phil Steck noted that the 2000 Bush-Gore election was decided by the Supreme Court rather than national vote thanks to the electoral system. Under the electoral college as well, a state like thinly-populated Wyoming has proportionately more say in the outcome of a presidential race.

Some Republicans, though, also like the concept of moving away from the electoral college. They dislike the idea of a few ‘battleground’ states like Ohio taking on outsize importance. And a national vote could increase down-ballot turnout among GOP voters in New York during presidential election years — if they feel their candidate has a chance.

So far, 10 other states have passed the national popular vote legislation, totaling 136 electoral votes. New York has 29 electoral votes.