NJ Gov. Signs Popular Vote Measure
Jan 13 10:11 PM US/Eastern
By TOM HESTER Jr.
Associated Press Writer
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey on Sunday became the
second state to enter a compact that would eliminate
the Electoral College's power to choose a president if
enough states endorse the idea.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed legislation that approves
delivering the state's 15 electoral votes to the
winner of the national popular vote. The Assembly
approved the bill last month and the Senate followed
suit earlier this month.
Marylandwith 10 electoral voteshad been the only
state to pass the compact into law.
The measure could result in the electoral votes going
to a candidate opposed by voters in New Jersey, which
has backed Democratic presidential candidates since
The compact would take effect only if enough
statesthose with a majority of votes in the Electoral
Collegeagreed to it. A candidate needs 270 of 538
electoral votes to win.
The compact has also passed both houses of the
Illinois Legislature, according to the National
Popular Vote movement, and has been approved by one
legislative house in Arkansas, Colorado and North
Governors in California and Hawaii, though, vetoed
bills to join the compact.
The goal is to ensure that the national popular vote
winner becomes president. Democrats who sponsored the
bill have noted that their party's 2000 presidential
nominee, Al Gore, won the popular vote but lost in the
Sponsors contend the agreement would ensure that all
states are competitive in presidential elections and
make all votes important. It also would guarantee the
presidency to the person who received the most votes.
Republicans in the state criticized the bill as
undermining federal elections. "This legislation is a
constitutional travesty," Assemblyman Richard Merkt
said. "It's a backdoor end-run of the federal
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