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Another state close to joining national popular vote pact for president

If the Nevada bill is signed, 16 states and DC will have pledged to give their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner.

Nevada is one signature away from joining a multi-state pact to give its electoral college votes in the presidential election to the candidate who gets the most votes across the country rather than in its own state.

The Nevada Senate passed Assembly Bill 186 Tuesday to join the National Popular Vote interstate compact, the Reno Gazette Journal reports. The bill now goes to Gov. Steve Sisolak. If he signs it, Nevada would join 15 other states and the District of Columbia in changing the way it distributes its electoral votes.

The electoral college gives each state gets a certain number of votes based on how many members of Congress they have. Nevada -- which has four members of the House of Representatives and two U.S. Senators -- gets six electoral votes. 

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Generally, states will award their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the popular vote in their own state. Under this compact, the states involved would give their votes to the national popular vote winner regardless of how their state votes.

The push for this system comes after two of the last five presidential elections were won by the candidate who did not win the national popular vote. Al Gore beat George W. Bush in 2000 by about 500,000 votes, but Bush won the electoral college. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by some 2.8 million votes but also lost the electoral vote.

Even if Nevada joins, the pact won't go into effect, yet. It requires a commitment from enough states to equal at least 270 electoral votes. That's the minimum needed to win a presidential election. Including Nevada, the pact will have 195 votes secured -- 75 shy of the minimum.

The pact has supporters on both sides of the political spectrum. It says its advisory board includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, among others.

Supporters say the pact would require party nominees to visit cities and states they might normally ignore. That's because they know how the majority of the state will vote. For example, California has been won by the Democrat every election since 1992, according to 270towin.com. Texas has gone to Republicans every year since 1980.

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