Last week, the Nevada Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections held a public hearing on AJR6 the the National Popular Vote interstate compact. The compact would require that Nevada’s electoral college votes would go to the Presidential candidate with the largest share of the popular vote.
In March 2023, the National Popular Vote interstate compact was introduced in the Nevada Assembly as a constitutional amendment by Democratic Assembly members Howard Watts, Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod, Brittney Miller; Natha Anderson, Shea Backus, Tracy Brown-May, Max Carter, Lelsey Cohen, Reuben D’Silva, Bea Duran, Cecilia González, Selena La Rue Hatch, Cameron Miller, Daniele Monroe-Moreno, Sabra Newby, Sarah Peters, Shondra Summers-Armstrong, Angie Taylor, Clara Thomas, Selena Torres and Steve Yeager. The bill was jointly sponsored by Senators Dallas Harris, Roberta Lange, James Ohrenschall; Skip Daly, Fabian Donate and Edgar Flores .
The National Popular Vote bill has been enacted by 16 jurisdictions possessing 195 electoral votes, including 4 small states (DE, HI, RI, VT), 8 medium-sized states (CO, CT, MD, MA, NJ, NM, OR, WA), 3 big states (CA, IL, NY), and the District of Columbia. The bill will take effect when enacted by states with 75 more electoral votes.
The Board of Advisors of the nation-wide initiative include former Democratic Senator Al Franken, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former RNC Chair Michael Steele, and former Democratic Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
Proponents of the bill claim that it will equalize elections in affirming that every single vote will be allocated to determine the presidency, instead of the electoral college, citing past elections which determined the Presidency by decision of the electoral college.
Opponents, like the Cato Institute claim the Compact would cause even more chaos into our presidential elections.
The Compact’s language simply assumes the existence of a traditional popular vote total in each state but it provides no details on how that is to be ascertained. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by opponents. It opens the door for a state to throw a wrench in the works by adopting alternative methods for choosing their electors, methods which are not conducive to producing an unambiguous national popular vote total.
Instead of letting voters pick the president, the NPVIC could effectively hand the decision over to a handful of little‐known (and partisan!) secretaries of state deciding how to read a vague law with no obvious answer. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Similar legislation was passed in 2019 but vetoed by Governor Steve Sisolak.
During this legislative session, the Democratic majority has used their power to pass their progressive agenda through a variety of constitutional amendments. Each amendment must pass two legislative sessions prior to appearing as a ballot question for Nevadans to ratify or reject.
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