CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada will not join a cohort of other U.S. states that have pledged their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday he had vetoed a contentious measure committing Nevada to the compact, even though the bill had been approved by most Democrats in the Legislature.
No Republicans in the Legislature voted for the measure.
Sisolak said the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact “could diminish the role of smaller states like Nevada in national electoral contests.”
“In cases like this, where Nevada’s interests could diverge from the interests of large states, I will always stand up for Nevada,” he said in a statement.
More than a dozen states have agreed to put their electoral votes toward the winner of the popular vote.
The measure cleared the Nevada Senate in a 12-8 party-line vote. It passed the Assembly with a 23-17 vote with some Democrats voting in opposition to the measure.
It was Sisolak’s first veto since taking office.
On Wednesday, Sisolak put his signature on several criminal justice reform bills that restore voting rights to convicted felons and streamline the process for sealing low-level marijuana convictions.
The voting rights legislation gives felony offenders the right to vote after being released from prison, instead of granting certain felons the right to vote two years after being released.
Sisolak said about 77,000 state residents will have their voting rights restored due to the legislation.
Sisolak also signed into law a bill that makes it easier to seal a past low-level marijuana conviction by permitting a person to request a court to seal criminal records tied to any offense that is decriminalized.