Oregonians, like other northwesterners, want their votes to matter in the US presidential election. But currently, Oregon is a “safe” blue state that presidential candidates never visit. Instead, it could be a battleground state where candidates vye for votes. It could, that is, if enough states sign the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, agreeing to award their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide.

The Oregon House has heeded the will of the people, voting in favor of a National Popular Vote Bill four times in the past eight years—most recently, yesterday. Now the bill goes to the Senate.

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  • In past years, Senate President Peter Courtney has refused to bring the bill to a vote, even though a majority of senators were ready to approve it. This year, Courtney says he is willing to send the question directly to the voters. He could let Oregonians weigh in with a vote in November. Or he could let the people’s elected representatives in the senate do their job—vote on legislation—before the end of the legislative session.

    If Courtney lets the Oregon senate vote on the bill and a majority of senators vote yes, Oregon will become the thirteenth jurisdiction to sign on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, bringing Beaver State voters one step closer to having a voice in presidential elections. With Oregon, the Compact will have 172 of the 270 electoral votes needed to go into effect.