Virginia Bill to Join “National Popular Vote Compact” Dies in Senate

Tyler Arnold | The Center Square

Legislation that would have entered Virginia into a compact with other states to ensure the president of the United States is elected by popular vote has been dropped from consideration because the Senate did not have enough votes to pass it.

Senate Bill 1101 would have entered Virginia into a compact with other states that agreed to pledge their Electoral College delegates to the candidate who won the national popular vote, regardless of how the state voted. The compact would go into effect only if enough states enter into the agreement to reach the 270 Electoral College vote threshold for electing a president.

National Popular Vote, the primary organization pushing for the legislation, said in an email the bill would have been one vote short of getting the majority needed to pass in the Senate.

“Regrettably, when we did a headcount of votes likely to be cast on the Senate floor for the National Popular Vote bill in this year’s short session of the legislature, it appeared to be one vote short,” the statement read. “Lacking the necessary votes on the floor, the bill was not taken up today by the Senate committee.”

The primary sponsor of the bill, Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, asked the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee on Tuesday to strike the bill from the docket, effectively killing it in this year’s legislative session.

To date, enough states have entered the compact to allocate 196 Electoral College votes to the national popular vote, which is slightly one-third of the total votes necessary for the compact to go into effect.

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square, where this article was originally published on January 27. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.

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