State lawmakers approved a bill on Tuesday that would award its electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote in presidential elections — but only if states holding a majority of electoral votes agree.
The bill — pushed by the “National Popular Vote Act,” which counts Rochester native and Paychex founder Thomas Golisano among its surrogates — now heads to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who hasn’t signaled whether he supports it.
From the Associated Press:
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 sponsored by Republican Sen. Joseph Griffo and Democratic Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz would add New York’s 29 electoral votes.
If signed, New York would be the second largest state, behind California — which has 55 electoral votes — to join the effort.
Golisano, meanwhile, has a history of being active in New York politics, unsuccessfully running for governor three times and helping orchestra a GOP coup of the state Senate in 2009. He changed his residency to Florida in 2009, citing New York’s high taxes.
(Democrat and Chronicle file photo)