The Maine House of Representatives today voted down a bill that would have
given away Maine’s electoral college votes to the winner of the national
popular vote. The vote, taken after about two dozen speeches from the floor
from both sides, ended with 76 Representatives voting against the bill, and 66
voting for it.
the bill included more than 20 Democrats who joined with all Republicans and several
independents to vote down the motion to pass the bill.
Most of the speeches focused on how the bill would ultimately reduce the power of Maine’s vote in Presidential elections, but one Representative, Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth), seemed to embrace that, saying she did not believe her vote should be counted for any more than any other “adult American.”
the bill also often cited the need to protect the U.S. Constitution and
referred frequently to Maine’s uniqueness as a state, which requires Maine
voters to consider candidates in a different manner than voters in Los Angeles,
New York or San Francisco may consider them.
after the bill initially failed to win enough votes, Rep. Christopher Babbidge
(D – Kennebunk) made a motion for the House to reconsider their votes. Babbidge’s
motion was defeated even more soundly than the initial vote, with only 48 voting
to reconsider, and 84 voting against.
point during the floor debate, word got to the Maine House that Nevada’s Governor,
a Democrat, had vetoed that state’s bill to join the same interstate compact as
Maine was considering.
Corey broke the news on the floor of the House, reading a quote from Gov. Steve
Sisolak of Nevada, “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.”
Nevada is a
small state with six electoral college votes, two more than Maine.
been building against the proposal since the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal
Affairs Committee issued a bipartisan “Ought Not To Pass” recommendation on the
attempt to pass the bill, and then reconsider, the House eventually did get on
to a vote on the committee’s recommendation that the bill be killed and the
House allowed that motion to pass without objection.
The bill will still go back to the Maine Senate for another vote and may return to the House if the Senate pushes again for passage. Because Senate President Troy Jackson is the prime sponsor of the bill, there is a possibility of the bill receiving more votes.
Until today, the bill had been tabled for weeks in the House, presumably so supporters could work on winning over the votes needed to put the bill over the top.
Notably, Speaker of the House Sara Gideon supported the effort to give away Maine’s electoral college votes, voting in favor of the motion to pass the bill.
– “Y” indicates a vote in favor of giving away Maine’s electoral college votes – “N” indicates a vote in opposition to giving away Maine’s electoral college votes – “X” indicates absent – “E” indicates excused