New York lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill that would enter the state in an interstate agreement to award its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.
The National Popular Vote agreement is triggered when 270 electoral votes are reached, enough to give the states who signed the compact a majority of the electoral votes. So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have signed the measure, accounting for 136 electoral votes. The bill would add New York’s 29 votes for a total of 155.
If the bill would have been enforced in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote over George W. Bush, New York would have given him their electoral college votes — 31 at the time — and thus, the presidency.
In 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote but lost the election when Republican Rutherford B. Hayes got 185 electoral votes to Tilden’s 184. In 1888, Democrat Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the election when Republican Benjamin Harrison got 233 electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168.