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Wed Jun 12, 2019, 06:31 PM

7 Maine Democrats flip, giving new life to bid to link Electoral College to popular vote


AUGUSTA, Maine — Seven Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives reversed themselves on Wednesday to give new life to an interstate bid that could eventually make the Electoral College follow the national popular vote in presidential elections.

The bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, initially passed the Senate in a narrow vote last month, but it was in danger of failing after a 76-66 vote against it in the House. On Wednesday, the Democratic-led lower chamber reversed itself to back it in a 77-69 vote.

It faces further action in both chambers amid heavy mobilization against it led by the Maine Republican Party, which is ramping up to back the election of President Donald Trump, the fifth president in U.S. history to be elected without winning the national popular vote. He also won a historic split of Maine in the 2016 election, gaining one of Maine’s four electoral votes.

All House Republicans opposed the change in May, while 21 Democrats voted against most of the members of their party. That number of Democrats shrank to 13 by the last vote on Wednesday, following a tense and rare tied vote on agreeing to the Senate’s position on the bill.


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