Nevada governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, vetoed legislation on Thursday that would have preemptively committed the state’s presidential electors to whichever candidate won the national popular vote.
“After thoughtful deliberation, I have decided to veto Assembly Bill 186,” Sisolak said in a statement. “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.”
“I recognize that many of my fellow Nevadans may disagree on this point and I appreciate the legislature’s thoughtful consideration of this important issue,” he added.
The legislation, which was approved by the state Senate last week, would have made Nevada a signatory to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which technically preserves the Electoral College but subverts its authority by requiring that signatories award all of their electors to the candidate that wins the national popular vote.
The compact, which will be triggered once its member states collectively represent more than 270 electoral votes, has thus far been signed by 14 states and the District of Columbia. The compact’s proponents have enjoyed a string of recent successes, with Colorado, Delaware, and New Mexico signing on earlier this year and Oregon and Maine looking likely to follow suit in the coming weeks.
Pat Rosensteil, senior consultant to the National Popular Vote campaign, vowed to continue to build on the movement’s momentum despite the recent defeat.
“Since January, the National Popular Vote bill has been enacted in three states, passed 11 legislative chambers and continues to be under consideration in Oregon,” Rosensteil said in a statement provided to National Review. “We will continue our bipartisan work in every state until the National Popular Vote proposal takes effect and every American voter is politically relevant in every presidential election.”