BOSTON – The Senate on Thursday voted 28-10 to approve legislation that would automatically send the Commonwealth’s 12 electoral votes to the presidential candidate with the most popular votes nationwide, State Senator Jamie Eldridge announced today.
“This system will ensure that all votes count equally in a presidential election – which means that voters in Massachusetts would know that their votes mean just as much as votes from Ohio, New Hampshire or Florida, and that presidential candidates will focus on our state just as much as they do on battleground states,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge, a strong supporter of the measure. “In passing this bill, we are helping strengthen the foundation of our democracy – the principle of one person, one vote.”
Senator Thomas P. Kennedy (D-Brockton), Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws, said: “Today, the Commonwealth took a large step to ensure that the person who assumes the most powerful office in the world – the Presidency of the United States – receives the majority support of the American voters.”
The bill is part of an interstate compact that would take effect only if enough states join to make the electoral votes of the states in the compact combine for at least 270, which is the number needed to decide who wins the presidential election.
With enough states in the compact, the electoral votes from each member state would automatically go to the candidate with the most popular votes nationwide, therefore making that candidate the winner.
Currently, five other states (Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington) have enacted the compact legislation.
Any state can withdraw from the compact up until six months before the end of the current President’s term.
In the case of a tie, the votes will return to a state-by-state Electoral College method.
The bill now goes back to the House for further action.