Both chambers of the state legislature in Nevada, where Democrats lead, have approved a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would add the state to a slowly expanding plan to use the national popular vote as a basis for electing U.S. presidents rather than the electoral college system as it currently stands. Participating states would, if the plan is put into motion, give their electoral votes to whoever gets more ballots nationally.
Doing so would have meant Donald Trump never became president, as he was millions of votes behind Hillary Clinton in the national count after the ballots were counted in 2016. Democratic support for the idea, though, is not consistent, as a past proposal to add Nevada to the plan was vetoed by the state’s then-Democratic governor, who expressed the basic concern that the specific decisions of Nevadans could be essentially blunted if the plan to just use the national popular vote was implemented. As the plan currently stands, Nevada legislators would have to approve the measure a second time, and then Nevada’s voters would have to give their own approval, at which point the amendment would be adopted.
The overall plan has been identified as going into effect when states whose electoral votes constitute a majority sign on. The current total of electoral votes held by states where participation in the plan has already been approved is just under 200. According to the Nevada Current, all Republicans in both chambers of Nevada’s state legislature opposed the idea of their state joining, which provides an obvious signal of impending Republican opposition if the idea eventually goes before voters.
Also before state legislators in Nevada has been a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would enshrine abortion rights, which polling in the state has found is supported by a majority of residents. In the numbers circulated by The Nevada Independent, a full 62 percent supported the idea, while only 18 percent of respondents were in opposition. Even among Republican respondents, support was at 41 percent. That idea has already received some legislative approval, but like the proposed amendment adding Nevada to the plan to use the national popular vote in selecting the U.S. president, it would need an additional round of legislators’ approval before heading to Nevada ballots.