A growing number have states have signed onto a compact that would see electoral votes given to whichever presidential candidate has won the national popular vote, and now Connecticut could soon become the eleventh state to jump on board.
Members of the House voted Thursday to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and the measure now heads to the state Senate.
The issue has been highly controversial after close elections in which the eventual president, including Republicans Donald Trump and George W. Bush, were elected under the Electoral College without winning the national popular vote.
Democrats view the change as supporting the “one person, one vote” doctrine; however some Republicans believe shifting the manner in which electoral votes are allocated is unconstitutional – and driven by politics.
“Four out of the last 45 presidents in the United States were elected by the electoral college,’’ without winning the national popular vote, said Rep. Laura Devlin, a Fairfield Republican who urged rejection of the bill. “I recognize two of those elections were in recent past, but that is no reason to discard the very safeguards that our Founding Fathers put in place.’’
Both Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and Governor Dannel Malloy have voiced support for the measure.
The compact would not come into effect until the number of participating states’ combined electoral votes reach 270; currently, the ten states together have 165, to which Connecticut would add seven.
“For too long, a handful of ‘purple’ states have decided who wins the presidency,” said James Glassman, a former Connecticut resident who serves on the board for the nonprofit Making Every Vote Count. “The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact puts an end to that inequitable system and returns the power of the presidential election to the hands of the American people, where it truly belongs.”