Presidential election bill clears Assembly

CARSON CITY — On a party line vote today, the Assembly backed a bill that would lead to the presidential candidate who receives the most  votes nationwide always winning the election.

All 27 Democrats backed Assembly Bill 413, while all 14 Republicans opposed it.

Under the bill, the presidential electors from Nevada would be required to cast ballots for the presidential candidate with the most votes nationally even if that candidate does not receive the most votes in Nevada.

In essence, the bill would provide a way for states to get around the Electoral College where 538 people elect the president.

The plan, however, would not go into effect until states with more than half of the electoral votes nationally approve its provisions.

If the plan had been in effect in 2000, Democrat Al Gore would have defeated Republican George W. Bush in the presidential election.

Gore drew 500,000 more votes nationwide than Bush.

Assemblyman Jerry Claborn, D-Las Vegas, said four states already have backed the plan where the president would be elected by the direct vote of the people. Those four states have 23 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring the proposal into effect.

The bill now goes to the Senate where Democrats hold a 12-9 edge. If approved there, the bill would be forwarded to Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.

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