The bills also include a measure that would restrict the use of "soft money" -- contributions given to political parties rather than candidates -- in the state.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the N.C. Senate approved the Electoral College reform bill in a 35-15 vote divided along party lines.
Sen. Howard Lee, D-Orange, proposed the bill to change the state's present winner-take-all system of awarding presidential electoral votes to a method based on congressional districts.
A candidate would receive one elector for each district he or she won. The candidate winning the most votes statewide would be granted two at-large electors.
Lee said the bill would allow the system to better manifest the people's will. "I think it's an issue of fairness and ensuring that the wishes of the voters in various districts are recorded through the electoral votes," he said.
Lee said another benefit of the proposed change is that it would increase the likelihood of garnering visits from candidates. "I think it becomes more attractive to candidates to visit a state if they have a chance to win some electoral votes," Lee said.
Sen. Robert Carpenter, R-Henderson, said the bill received favorable reviews from legislators. "I haven't heard any opposition," he said.
But Lee said the bill was hardly bipartisan. "Unfortunately, it has become a partisan issue," he said. "All the Republicans voted against it in the Senate."
In the face of Republican opposition, Lee says the key to passing the bill is getting support from House Democrats.