Oregon Senate votes to switch to popular vote model

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon could be the 16th state to join a movement to switch to a popular vote model in presidential elections.

The Senate voted 17-12 after a pitched floor debate on Tuesday to join an agreement between states known as the National Vote Interstate Compact. Under the compact, Oregon would pledge to give its 7 electoral votes to whoever candidate wins the national popular vote.

It’s a way to bypass the Electoral College without changing the U.S. Constitution. The agreement would only take effect when enough states join to reach 270 electoral votes–the threshold needed to win the White House. The compact is currently 81 electoral votes short of its goal.

Proponents say the popular model will ensure every person’s vote counts. Those against claim it goes against the founding father’s intentions.

The measure now goes to the House.