Even a Democratic governor recognizes the National Popular Vote movement is problematic.
On Thursday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced he is vetoing Nevada’s “National Popular Vote” bill. Governor Sisolak stated:
Once effective, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact could diminish the role of smaller states like Nevada in national electoral contests and force Nevada’s electors to side with whoever wins the nationwide popular vote, rather than the candidate Nevadans choose.
The National Popular Vote movement is a dangerous attempt to dismantle the U.S. Electoral College system our Founders put in place to elect the President. Under the electoral college system, each state is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of seats in its congressional delegation, the number of representatives in the state plus two senators. This system ensures the will of large states cannot automatically trample the will of smaller states.
As Nevada’s governor, I am obligated to make such decisions according to my own conscience. In cases like this, where Nevada’s interests could diverge from the interests of large states, I will always stand up for Nevada.
Under the vetoed legislation, Nevada would have given its six electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote rather than who wins the popular vote in Nevada.
Nevada was an important swing state in the 2016 Presidential Election and could likely be influential in 2020. This legislation would have diminished the incentive for candidates to visit the state and greatly limited Nevadan’s access to candidates. The U.S. Electoral College also prevents candidates from ignoring key swing states like Nevada, who otherwise just ranks 32nd in terms of electoral votes allocated.