Oregon has joined the growing number of states that have agreed to award their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide. It means Oregon could potentially give its seven Electoral College votes to someone who did not win the state.
The idea behind the multi-state compact is to prevent situations where the winner of the national popular vote does not become president. That’s happened twice in the past 20 years.
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 870 into law Wednesday. It's the measure that officially hooks up Oregon to the compact.
Brown said the agreement could increase the influence of states that are usually considered “safe” by national campaigns. "I think it encourage candidates to spend more time in states like ours, candidates who are running for president, speaking directly to our voters,” she said.
The compact only takes effect when enough states have joined to collectively award a majority of votes in the Electoral College. Supporters say that’s unlikely to be the case before the 2020 presidential election.
On the west coast, Washington and California have already joined the compact.