New Mexico may join popular vote compact

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico moved a step closer to participating in a compact with other states to elect the U.S. president by national popular vote on Tuesday with state Senate approval.

A 25-16 vote of Senate sends the bill to the governor for consideration.

The bill from Democratic Sen. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque would enroll New Mexico in an interstate compact that requires it cast electoral votes for the national popular vote winner, and not necessarily the winner in New Mexico. The compact would only go into effect when its membership represents at least 270 electoral votes.

Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have entered the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president. New Mexico would add five more electoral votes to that list with the approval of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The movement, which gained steam after Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016, is an attempt to establish direct popular election of the president without having to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College.