Lawmakers introduce bill to add Minnesota to popular vote compact

“This is a commonsense measure that would ensure the winner of the presidential election is the one selected by the American people, not an outdated relic of the 19th century,” said Wiger.

Sen. Aric Putnam signs popular vote bill / Twitter

State Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, introduced a bill Monday that would add Minnesota to a popular vote compact, securing the state’s electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote.

According to a press release from the Senate DFL, Wiger’s bill would add Minnesota to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. States that are a part of this agreement “pledge their states’ electoral votes to the presidential and vice presidential candidates who win the national popular vote as opposed to the popular vote in their particular state.”

“This is a commonsense measure that would ensure the winner of the presidential election is the one selected by the American people, not an outdated relic of the 19th century,” said Wiger.

He said the election shouldn’t depend on the results of a few states but on the “overall will of the people throughout our country.” The compact, according to Wiger, is “a measure that would ensure people’s votes are respected, not disenfranchised.”

The national popular vote agreement cannot take effect until the number of states that agree “represent a majority of the total electoral votes nationwide.” The compact has 196 electoral votes to date, including 15 states and the District of Columbia. 74 more electoral votes are needed for the compact to be put into effect.

The press release states, “In the past 20 years, two presidential candidates have lost the popular vote while winning the presidency, most recently in 2016.”

It also claims that “more voters would be engaged, creating a more equitable system for electing the United States President.”

Sen. Aric Putnam, DFL-St. Cloud, tweeted that he signed the bill as well, and the press release says he is a co-author of the legislation, along with Sens. Melissa Wiklund, Jen McEwen, and Mary Kunesh.

McEwen also tweeted that she is “proud to sign on to [her] first bill” in the Senate, tagging an account called Abolish the Electoral College.