Regional
7:27 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

Las Cruces Represenative Proposes National Popular Vote System

Las Cruces – House Voters and Elections Chair Mary Helen Garcia (D-Las Cruces) has introduced a memorial that directs the state's top election official to review the implications of switching from the current Electoral College to a national popular vote system.

Rep. Garcia said, "I think it bears investigating the pros and cons of switching to a national popular vote system rather than the current Electoral College. A national popular election of the president and vice president would ensure that every single voter whether from a large or small state have equal weight on the election."

House Memorial 56 instructs Secretary of State Dianna Duran to lead a bipartisan, comprehensive study of the National Popular Vote Initiative. The initiative is a state-based plan for electing the president of the United States which strengthens the current Electoral College by ensuring the winner of the national popular vote wins the presidency. Currently states elect their mayors, legislators, and governors by popular vote. If HM56 passes the House, New Mexico will study the pros and cons of joining seven other states in a compact to change to a popular vote system to elect the president of the United States.

"I support evaluating the options to ensure the integrity of our election process," said Secretary Duran.

According to polling done by the National Popular Vote Initiative, New Mexicans around the state overwhelmingly support the idea of a national popular vote system. The poll concluded that 76% of New Mexico voters embrace the popular vote system - with 83% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans in favor of the initiative.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Voters and Elections Committee Tuesday morning.