Only one final vote remains in the state Senate before the Legislature sends a new law to the governor's desk that is intended to bypass the Electoral College system and ensure that the winner of the presidential election is determined by the national popular vote.
The House enacted the National Popular Vote bill Tuesday. "The National Popular Vote measure will ensure that our presidential elections reflect the true will of the people. Speaker DeLeo is pleased that the House has enacted this measure to give each voter equal say in the election of our president," House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office said in a statement.
Only an enactment vote in the Senate is needed before the bill will be sent to the governor's desk. David Falcone, a spokesman for Senate President Therese Murray, said it wasn't clear when the Senate would hold the final vote.
Kim Haberlin, a spokesman for Governor Deval Patrick said Tuesday that the governor had "said in the past that he is supportive of the goals of the legislation, but as always he will review the legislation if and when it reaches his desk."
Under the proposed law, all 12 of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally.
Supporters are waging a state-by-state campaign to try to get such bills enacted. Once states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (or 270 of 538) have enacted the laws, the candidate winning the most votes nationally would be assured a majority of the Electoral College votes, no matter how the other states vote and how their electoral votes are distributed.
Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington have already adopted the legislation, according to the National Popular Vote campaign's website.
Supporters of the change say that the current Electoral College system is confusing and causes candidates to focus unduly on a handful of battleground states.
Critics say the current system is not broken. They also point to the disturbing scenario that Candidate X wins nationally, but Candidate Y has won in Massachusetts. In that case, all of the state's 12 electoral votes would go to Candidate X, the candidate who was not supported by Massachusetts voters.
The measure passed both branches of the Legislature in 2008 but did not make it all the way through the process.
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