After the 2016 presidential election, many questions arose about whether the electoral college system is still valid and useful for the current period in time. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a landslide of nearly 3 million votes, but Mr. Trump managed to win the electoral vote victoriously (this is not to mention though that plenty of evidence exists showing Russian hacking occurred).
Now, it looks as though some states are finding ways to work around the archaic electoral college. According to The Guardian:
‘Connecticut voted to join states that want to pool their electoral college votes for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote – the first state legislature to do so since President Donald Trump won the 2016 election.’
If Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy signs the bill into law as expected, Connecticut would be the 12th jurisdiction, which includes 11 states and the District of Columbia, to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Clinton won every jurisdiction in that pact.
Barry Fadem, president of the California-based National Popular Vote organization, said:
‘People are very excited.
‘It really helps.’
The Guardian reported:
‘The bill passed the state Senate 21-14, with three Republicans joining 18 Democrats. It passed the House of Representatives 73-71.
‘Under the compact, participating states require electoral college voters to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner. In theory the change would take effect once the compact involves states representing at least 270 electoral votes, the threshold to win the presidency. With the expected addition of Connecticut’s seven votes, the group now has 172.’
The interstate compact is discussed here:
It is important to remember that when people vote for president, they are really choosing electors. The electoral college is made up of 538 electors, which corresponds to the number of seats held by the U.S. Senate and House, plus three votes allotted to Washington D.C.
Democratic state representative Matthew Lesser said:
‘My hope is, as other states take a look at it, that it won’t simply be an effort to re-litigate the 2016 election.’
Lesser has been working on the issue since 2009 and he says that Trump’s election seems to have given it “some renewed momentum.” Lesser hopes that states will reflect on how two recent presidents, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, lost the popular vote but still won the election.
‘That’s a real problem. That undercuts their ability to get things done.’
Opponents like Republican state senator Michael McLachlan argue that Connecticut’s influence in the presidential election will be hurt by the national popular vote. McLachlan fears that this would cause candidates to begin to focus on large population centers and leave behind the rural areas and small states like Connecticut.
‘If you live in New York City, they may as well send limousines to get people to the polls.’
On the other hand, supporters of the pact feel that the move would re-energize disappointed voters who believe their votes don’t count. Democratic state senator Mae Flexer said:
‘Every person in the United States has the right to an equal voice in how our country is governed, and enacting a national popular vote ensures that right is upheld.’
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