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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Could Join National Popular Vote Movement

Matt Howry

Oregon could join a national movement to change the way the president is elected.

The Oregon House voted Monday to enter into a multi-state agreement that would award all of its Electoral College votes to the candidate who wins the most votes nationwide.

Oregon isn't a big prize: just seven Electoral College votes are at stake. Supporters of the National Popular Vote movement say that means Oregon is often overlooked by candidates who court voters in bigger states.

Democratic Representative Tobias Read said the proposal would make Oregon more relevant on the national stage.

"A voter in Oregon should matter every bit as much as a voter in Florida or in any other state,” he said.

Opponents say the agreement would potentially award all of Oregon's electoral votes to someone who loses the state badly. Oregon is the only west coast state that hasn't joined the National Popular Vote compact.

The measure now moves to the Oregon Senate, where similar bills have died twice in the past three sessions.