ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to enter New York in an interstate agreement to award its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.
The National Popular Vote agreement would be triggered if states representing 270 electoral votes commit. Currently 10 states and the District of Columbia, representing 165 electoral votes — 61 percent of what is needed to win a presidential election — have signed the measure.
The bill signed by Cuomo adds New York’s 29 electoral votes. The legislation was approved the state Senate and Assembly on March 25.
New York is the second largest state, behind California — which has 55 electoral votes — to join the effort.
“With the passage of this legislation, New York is taking a bold step to fundamentally increase the strength and fairness of our nation’s presidential elections,” Cuomo said in a news release. “By aligning the Electoral College with the voice of the nation’s voters, we are ensuring the equality of votes and encouraging candidates to appeal to voters in all states, instead of disproportionately focusing on early contests and swing states. I am particularly heartened to sign this legislation as it embodies both in process and substance the Empire State’s tradition as a national progressive leader.”
The U.S. Constitution allows states to award their electoral votes using any method it deems appropriate.
“Joining the compact gives us leverage over presidential candidates,” said state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome. “Collectively, we say: You can no longer take our states for granted. You can no longer effectively disenfranchise millions of Americans by ignoring us. And you can no longer assume our vote is yours.”
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