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National Popular Vote Movement Lands in Connecticut, Again

Gov. Malloy says Connecticut should join the nine other states that have already signed on to do away with the Electoral College.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

State legislators are once again talking about how to elect the President of the United States. And the conversation is centered on House Bill 5126, which would add Connecticut to a growing roster of states that support a National Popular Vote.

In other words, the Electoral College would be a thing of the past, and the president would be elected based on simple majority.

While the bill was before the Government Administration and Elections Committee of the General Assembly on Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman took it as an opportunity to let their support be known.

“I fully support a national popular vote for President. All Americans deserve to have their votes counted equally for the highest office in the country,” Malloy said. “Connecticut should join the nine other states and the District of Columbia in taking this important step. The candidate who wins the most votes should be President." 

What is the Electoral College?

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) explains the Electoral College this way:

"The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

"The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators."

Turning the Tide Away From 'Swing States'

Connecticut has 7 electoral votes. That pails in comparison to California, which has 55, or Florida, which has 27. 

“Unfortunately," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, "too many presidential elections have focused on swing states, leaving a host of voters in states across the country feeling disenfranchised." 

"The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries on earth. We should take pride in our diversity by weighing each vote equally in Presidential elections,” she added.

'The fairest and most democratic way'

The effort to enact a bill supporting the National Popular Vote is nothing new in Connecticut's General Assembly. The bill has been introduced and re-introduced several times since 2007, according to the website, National Popular Vote.

In an editorial published Feb. 14, 2014, the Hartford Courant also lent its support to the bill.

"National Popular Vote advocates were back in Connecticut recently, this time to press their case with Republican leaders, most of whom have been cool to the concept," the editorial states. "We hope some minds are changed this year. The legislature will consider the issue. Connecticut should be among the states joining the National Popular Vote compact."

The Courant editorial goes on to note that a candidate has won the presidency while losing the popular vote four times, most recently in 2000, when George W. Bush narrowly defeated Al Gore. 

When enough states to represent the 270 electoral votes needed to elect the President have signed on, an inter-state compact would go into effect. If passed here, Connecticut would join 10 jurisdictions —  that together represent 136 electoral votes — that have already enacted this legislation.

States that have already signed on are: California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

"An equal vote for every American citizen, regardless of in which state they happen to live, is the fairest and most democratic way to go,” Malloy said.

Do you support moving to a National Popular Vote? Why or why not?

Gerald M. Gaynor February 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM
PS: No one is "suppressing votes." That is some of the most annoying and ignorant propaganda being spewed by those who are afraid that people are going to wake up. Why some are offended by the notion of requiring ID to vote in an age when you need photo ID to: enter many state or federal buildings, cash a check (payroll, personal or assistance), apply for unemployment, apply for state or federal assistance, pick up certified mail, pick up certain prescriptions, purchase antihistamines, test drive a car, open a bank account, close a bank account or board an airplane simply amazes me. If your belief that votes are being "suppressed" by your favorite bête noire, gerrymandering, that form of manipulation is as old as the nation and doesn't constitute suppression.
Gerald M. Gaynor February 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Bill, some of us are actually historically literate and don't need to rely on the one author that seems to enthrall you. I would be more impressed if you advised people to read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.
Bill Cash February 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Gerald you aren't being realistic. Scott in Florida just eliminated something like 18,000 people from the voting rolls, the large majority of whom are legitimate voters. There are many people for whom a voter id is a big deal. That example in Virginia didn't mean anything to you? You've lost me with this reasoning. Blaming everything on the democrats isn't too realistic, not when we've had Meskill, Weicker, Rowland, Rell and numerous other republicans. Closing your eyes to what's happening elsewhere isn't a healthy approach because it can and will happen to you. A much better solution is to become part of the solution. Create realistic solutions for our problems. Dedicated people can and do make a difference. If you have good solutions, let me know them, I'll help you push them.
Bill Cash February 26, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Gerald, anytime you want to have a discussion about the Federalist Papers, let me know. I particularly like #10 where Madison gave a brilliant explanation of factions. Don't assume everyone else is less literate than you. It's something you seem to do often. I've read the Federalist Papers and have a copy of the Constitution on my counter which I refer to often. I'm quite widely read. I only point out Karp to you because few people know of him. If you get into macro economics, I'd suggest the primer on neweconomicperspectives.org. Most people believe we are still on the gold standard and we haven't been since 1971.
Gerald M. Gaynor February 26, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Bill: Realistic solutions? How about voter ID for a start or are you one of those people who believe that the dead don't vote all across this great nation of ours? I was blaming Democrats for what happened to this state, as it was them in collusion with unions that drove industry out of this state. Surely you don't contend that unions have supported Republicans? We have had some Republican Governors but the purse strings have been held, by and large, by Democrats for decades.
Gerald M. Gaynor February 26, 2014 at 01:08 PM
Bill; inasmuch as you are the one doing most of the "assuming" we are done here. If you believe that most of the people with strongly held opinions on the Constitution have even heard of the Federalist Papers you are fooling only yourself. We have elected officials who routinely confuse the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; Nancy Pelosi for one. We have college graduates who think the Bill of Rights is the Communist Manifesto. After thirty years of practicing law my belief that I am better read and informed than many is fact-based. Lets' be honest, on our best day half the population is below average...
John Mainhart February 26, 2014 at 01:10 PM
The President of the United States is trying to completely undermine the Constitution of the United States by increasing his power by making and changing our Federal laws without letting the Constitutional delegated branch of the government, that is Congress, do the law making. In addition the A.G. Holder is encouraging state A.G. to enforce only those laws that they feel are good laws ,which is in violation of the directives of the Constitution and makes law enforcement depend on personal views rather than legal government authority Eliminating the electoral college is just another attempt by the Obama administration to undermine the Republic so the big cities will have more power. I am not a bit surprised our Governor, who is a fan of Obama would be in favor of such a move.
Paul Improta February 26, 2014 at 01:22 PM
This has turned into a personal chat room between two or three people. How about calling each other and arguing over the phone, that way we don't have to delete 500 messages in our inboxes every two hours.
Bill Cash February 26, 2014 at 01:26 PM
All right Gerald, we are done. Still not sure what you are referencing since I haven't made any comments about people with strongly held opinions on the constitution. I'm a pragmatist. If an idea works, use it. Don't get stuck in an ideology because it's a straight jacket. Then you are trying to make reality fit it rather than the ideas to reality. I'm looking for ideas all the time, be they conservative or liberal. Glad to hear you're not a kid, probably not as old as me but not a kid.
Ed Putman February 26, 2014 at 02:07 PM
Brutus, I just read your comment that the Constitution had senators selected by the state legislature and later amended to popular vote. I did not know that. I think an amendment to article II, section 1 would have been more palatable than the parties pretending that they have fulfilled the section with puppet electors. I think it would be enlightening now to have a "virtual" presidential election that follows the Constitutional method and lets well chosen electors pick a president. I have set up a web site to that end, ElectorsWanted.Com
Tom Renzo February 26, 2014 at 02:15 PM
I was just wondering why anyone would agree with Malloy and his cronies when he had abandoned cars misteriously show up full of ballots with his name on them. And lets not forget that this state has minority representation firmly in place and totally unconstitutional. but the dems do not want to talk about that. So to all the Malloy supporters how about this unconstitutional minority representation law that is fully in place thanks to the liberal DEMS!!!
Tom Renzo February 26, 2014 at 02:17 PM
It is a scam and instituted by the liberals to sway elections in there favor. If not they would not want it PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!
Milton February 26, 2014 at 02:30 PM
Tom - Can you please post the link for the story on the abandoned cars. I have not heard about that one..thanks
Porter gladstone February 26, 2014 at 02:47 PM
Bill says:Scott in Florida just eliminated something like 18,000 people from the voting rolls, the large majority of whom are legitimate voters. False. Bill says :. If you stopped all of it in Ct., Ct would still be a democratic state. There are degrees and the big prize is the presidency. Why do you think the republicans are going all out to steal it? If the democrats tried those tactics here, I'd oppose them. I'd be writing letters to the editor. bill--where is your letter to the editor about Darien not having State Senatorial representation in the legislature? Are you not at all concerned with the legislative branches of government? That would be odd, given that the normal democrat response to Obama weakness is to blame the House (not the Senate) . So the bottom line is--you care about injustices in voting when you believe it works against your idelology ? Its great to rationalize how this (theoretically) would work against democrats in virginia. And yes its wrong. But your decision to not care about the rest of how our elected representatives are gerrymandered does feel a bit disingenuous. You talk about the Constitution --which quite clearly articulates a desire to have a BALANCE of power--then you distill the equation down to 1 and only 1 office --the executive branch ? Come on--- if you dont recognize your own bias--doesnt mean that the rest of us cant. Argue for justice across all lines. Your easy dismissal of injustice in state elections to me serves only to demonstrate an unfair bias. and '18000 voters purged most of them legitimate? what?? that means the entire judicial system is corrupt let alone legislature and governor
Bob MacGuffie February 26, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Most of the solid constitutional points supporting the current electoral college system have been made above. We are a representative republic and institutions such as the senate and electoral college assure the minority is represented. It should be obvious to all observing, particularly over the past ten years, that the Liberals are devoted to growing gov't control over our lives on all levels, particularly thru the Federal Govt. NPV is being heavily pushed by the Liberals because they have an advantage in the high population centers of the U.S. and NPV will enable them to efficiently swing national elections. Just as with immigration amnesty, if Liberals viewed the illegal aliens as future Republican voters the Liberals would be building Acela trains from all parts heading to the borders. If Liberals thought NPV would benefit Republican candidates, they would have put NPV in an iron trunk and sunk it out at sea.
Bill Cash February 26, 2014 at 03:16 PM
I've made this point before. Both parties will do what helps them. Right now the democrats have the advantage when everyone votes. Years ago it was the republicans who had that advantage. I happen to think everyone should vote and the closer we can get to each vote being equal, the better it is. So I'm backing whichever party is fighting for that idea at the time. Anyone who thinks liberals are evil or conservatives are evil is just naïve. Politics is a rotten business and only works well for the people when they are involved in it. You can't trust any leaders unless you are right beside them.
Bill Cash February 26, 2014 at 03:27 PM
Porter, I have to point out to you that this discussion is about the National Popular Vote. NPV can fix the games being played in Virginia. They have no effect on local elections. You are reading a lot into my comments about NPV, that I don't care about local shenanigans. You are wrong but I am staying on the point of this discussion.
brutus February 26, 2014 at 03:28 PM
Bill, when you say "everyone should vote," I'd like to know what your definition of "everyone" is. do you include people of any age? non-citizens? illegal immigrants? felons? the mentally challenged? dead people? the same person as many times as they would like?
Ed Putman February 26, 2014 at 03:36 PM
Almost everyone with whom I speak is unwilling to give up NPV for president. NPV seems so democratic. But the choice, given a popular vote, is always between one of two party politicians. The general populace does not have time, money, nor communication facilities to select from a hundred candidates as Electors would. Electors, if free to do so, could select from an ocean of candidates, many outside of politics but with broad experience and leadership traits. Having convinced myself that the Founding Fathers were not land owning power grabbers, but careful planners for the future, I see this new NPV question could involve three choices. 1. Leave the party puppet electoral college as it is. 2. Change the criteria that directs the puppets from party to Popular Vote. 3. Begin the transition back to the Constitution and let the electors find, evaluate and select the next four year president. Can we not even consider the third option? Contemplate how and when we would vote for electors for the next presidential election, and also formalize what abilities and electors should have. We should also list what traits a president should have.
Tom Moore February 26, 2014 at 03:55 PM
It must be the right thing to do, since it was recommended by The Hartford Courant.
Porter gladstone February 26, 2014 at 05:28 PM
Bill--convenient...unfortunately not true. Its all part of the same discussion. When you gerrymander and then extrapolate the consequences for a Presidential election--you can't then pick and choose where that happens today that would negatively affect an outcome. YOu said you would write letters? Why only regarding Virginia? Youre saying that gerrymandering that exists in Ct isnt a concern because you happen to know that it will never affect a Presidential election? You see the push by democrats for a popular vote is just as manipulative and opportunistic as Republican gerrymandering in Virginia. They are recognizing how to gain an edge. This plank that somehow imagines to be for 'justice' is always belied when examples of disinterst occur with regard to similar or even the same issue pops up. Yes , Bill declares--he is outraged over the possibility of stealing elections by redrawing the way elections are held or how they are counted!! Oh wait--this change to the 12th Amendment whch was accepted 200+ years ago is to what? Correct an injustice? Or to capitalize on an advantage? If I felt you cared about how elections are run in every state and by Democrats in Connecticut, I would get the idea that perhaps you wanted a fair outcome. But when you say "thats not what we are talking about"-- that simply tells me that you'll talk about anything that helps you to further your cause and find ways to disregard the injustices that democrats perpetrate elsewhere. I'll say again-- if you think you fool people by disregarding gerrymandering in our home state--because you are upset about virginia you underestimate your fellow man. But hey--im used to it. Under Bush gitmo was an embarrassment; using the military was wrong; spying on us citizens was outrageous; expanding the military was jingoistic and ceding to neo-cons; executive overreach was appalling; lack of transparency was awful; lying -- abuse of power-- fillibustering was honorable--- not raising the debt ceiling made sense....etc....etc...etc. You cant tell me that the general thought process of Democrats (and yes reps too) is one of where does my party (my team) come out on this---and then legitimize or backtrack.
Bill Cash February 26, 2014 at 06:45 PM
Everyone legally qualified by age should be able to vote. Porter, I don't think you've understood anything I've said. Your are much more interested in attacking me, inferring I'm stupid and hypocritical. Right wing infers never having any doubt. This discussion is about NPV whether you like it or not. Can't believe I have to explain this. I give up trying to talk to you. So long Porter
TonyD February 26, 2014 at 07:19 PM
Bill, I don't think that NPV could have a better advocate than you. Someone should pay you.
Porter gladstone February 26, 2014 at 07:58 PM
Hmm--you bring up gerrymandering. And then want to cut off expanded talk on gerrymandering. You cant believe you need to explain? You dont have to explain. I get it. That doesnt mean i need to confine my ideas to what it is you decide. Right wing? I agree that gerrymandering in Va is wrong- (right wing)-but I dont want to allow you to villify Republicans for a tactic that both sides do. You then bring up Florida's Scott and nullifying 18,000 votes (which you fail to support) ? Hmm--why Scott? Oh he is Republican! You think that NPV will solve Fla from cutting the 85 voters? The dead /illegal voters ? What do voter i.d. have to do with NPV? If they cant vote, they cant vote? -but hey man-- you pick and choose what we can talk about! -and then talk down to people when they want to expand on the very subjects you bring up? haha. Talk about intellectually dishonest. You would be against gerrymandering --if you were aware of it-- except that you ARE aware of it-but conveniently decide it doesnt matter because it doesnt affect the executive branch vote? hahah give me a break. So long? Go away - Intellectually dishonest people like you are a dime a dozen. Or just tell me how NPV would solve Governor Scott from being able to disallow dead voters? You wont--because it has nothing to do with NPV.
dave wilsoon February 28, 2014 at 08:55 PM
if this crooked governor wants it, I would stay away
Bob Cerani March 07, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Democrats have lost their Moral Compass,Whatever they had. After President Obama, they will forever be second class citizens.
Norann Dillon March 22, 2014 at 06:28 AM
National Popular Vote? No thank you. "This compact seeks to destroy the genius of the existing electoral process and federalize our presidential election." http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/250520511.html
Ed Putman March 22, 2014 at 07:53 AM
I agree, Norann, "no thank you". But the existing electoral process does not reflect the genius of the Constitution which directs the CT legislature to pick 7 electors, not 7 robots. The electors, not the general public, will cast "secret ballots". Article II, Section 1 lost its meaning in the late 1800's when political parties found a way to get around it and gave us what we have today. Electors are supposed to select the president, period. My continuing Patch blog "Electors Wanted" addresses the solution to this disgrace and you will be glad to hear the solution is not MVP.
cheryl March 22, 2014 at 08:07 AM
WTF Are we doing away with the constitution all together? WTF is wrong with these people who are in favor of this? Don't these people remember who fought and died due to the freedom that this magnificent document provides. Have we gotten so far away from the American principles and natures law now it becomes laws of MAN. And you know how flawed man is. WTF? Smarten up before you end up in real tranny cuz that's what happens when the masses have NO guns, No constitution. What's the matter with you people?
Porter gladstone March 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM
Cheryl, the problem with your argument is that the Constitution includes the concept to have it amended. The Founding Fathers understood that with changing times, you need an ability to amend. They also understood human nature and it's self-centeredness and power hungry element. Thus the "balance of powers" which this President has eroded, but Bush did just as much. If we want the Country to remain strong and not a Kingdom or a Dictatorship, we need a stronger media. One that doesnt pander to the Democrats and their plight to denigrate the House (when it's run by opposing party). Obama's agenda is not in synch with the entire country. That's why we have elections. Thats where the Democrats who correctly note that "elections have consequences' when they win (the White House) also have the consequences to deal with in Governors and House of Reprsentatives. Bill, above spoke incessantly about his revulsion to gerrymandering- in Republican States. But chose to accept and rationalize gerrymandering in Democratic states. I dont think it's "unamerican " to want a national popular vote. But the slimey manipulative tactics of the left lead me to naurally oppose it. The left has adopted a very biased, xenophobic view of America. You can say "I want Hillary for Pres because she is a WOMAN, but if my reasoning for voting for Rand Paul came down to " He is a man," I'd be attacked for being a chauvanist or a mysogynist etc. The war on women plank would take hold. It's very annoying that their arrogance allows them to believe that their choices of who can and cannot be attacked (evangelicals, the rich, Catholics, for example) are absolutes. but I digress. The Constitution is amendable--but the argument that it's to counterweight republiccan gerrymandering is simply dishonest.

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