New York Joins Compact To Ensure Popular Vote Determines Presidency

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation that secure's New York's place on the list of states that have joined National Popular Vote Compact, according to an announcement.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Photo Credit: file photo

It guarantees that "every vote in every state will matter in every presidential election," the release said.

The bill modifies legislation signed by Cuomo in 2014, which added New York to an interstate agreement in which member states commit to award their electoral votes for president to the candidate that receives a majority of the national popular vote.

The original legislation required that New York be removed from the compact at the end of 2018 if the agreement had not been adopted nationally. 

This new measure removed this expiration date and keeps New York on the list of states supporting the National Popular Vote indefinitely, according to the release.

"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,"  said Cuomo.

"Making the national popular vote a binding one will enable all voices to be heard and encourage candidates to appeal to voters in all states."

By signing on to the National Popular Vote Compact, New York pledges to award its 29 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. 

But it would only take effect once enough other states have passed identical legislation to comprise a majority of the Electoral Colleges 538 votes, the release said.

The compact currently contains 165 of the necessary 270 electoral votes.

A constitutional amendment is not required to make this change, as Article II, Section 1 of the U. S. Constitution provides states the plenary power to award electoral votes in any manner they choose. 

"As Election Day finally arrives, every New Yorker wants to know their vote for president will matter in deciding the future of our country," said Sen. Joseph Griffo.

"A national popular vote compact will make New York relevant, so that we can't be ignored or taken for granted as the candidates instead fight over the few winner-take-all battleground states that historically have decided who is elected president," Griffo added. "In the 21st Century, every vote really should count, and this legislation will help achieve that democratic ideal in a way that respects the Constitution."

"Only in the world's greatest democracy, the person who receives the most votes for president is not necessarily the winner. National Popular Vote would change that, and it would mean that every American's vote in every state would count equally," said State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

The compact has now been enacted through legislation in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as Washington D.C.

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