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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Majority of Mainers support leaving Electoral College for national popular vote

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Monday, March 4, 2024   

Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote.

More than 70% of those surveyed would support changing the current system of how America's president is elected, including more than 50% of Republicans.

Chris Pearson, executive director of the group National Popular Vote and a former Congressman from Vermont, said the candidate with the most votes nationwide should win.

"I think this will bolster confidence in the system and have an impact down-ballot," Pearson contended. "And generally give Americans a better sense of ownership over our democracy."

Maine lawmakers are considering a bill to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The bill has already been enacted in 17 states totaling 205 electoral votes, just 65 votes short of the 270 needed for the national popular vote system to take effect.

Pearson said the 2020 presidential election exposed the vulnerabilities of the Electoral College. President Joe Biden won by seven million votes, but it was razor-thin margins in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin that handed him the presidency. Pearson said a smaller percentage of Americans are deciding the outcomes of elections.

"Unless you happen to live in one of these decisive battleground states, you're taken for granted because you live in a safe red or safe blue state and the outcome is not really in question."

Pearson said the legislation in Maine has strong bipartisan support, but some lawmakers contend the national popular vote would be unconstitutional or cause more rural states such as Maine to lose their electoral power. Pearson said a lack of urgency may be the greatest hurdle. If enacted by enough states this year, a national popular vote system would not be in place for the 2024 election.


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