Letter — Join the National Popular Vote Compact

As people left the polls on Election Day, I’m sure they took for granted that no matter which voting district they live in their vote would matter, and the candidates who received the most votes in each race would be declared the winner. That’s the way it works for virtually all the elected officials in the United States, except for one: the President of the United States.

With winner-take-all Electoral College voting, just a dozen battleground states with only 33% of the U.S. population decide who becomes president. Because voters in Connecticut have reliably voted Democratic for the past quarter century, our votes simply don’t matter. Every one of the 673,215 Connecticut voters who cast a ballot for Donald Trump last year could have stayed home and the Electoral College count would have been exactly the same. That’s a lot of disenfranchised voters.

Fortunately, there is a solution: the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The compact is a nonpartisan solution to make everyone’s vote for president matter—regardless of whether they live in a blue, red or battleground state—and to make the winner the candidate with the most votes, just the way hundreds of elections across Connecticut were decided on November 7.

The Connecticut General Assembly has considered joining the compact five times over the past decade—as 10 other states and the District of Columbia have done already.

In the 2017 legislative session there were 68 co-sponsors of H.B. 5434, more than ever before.

I’m one of hundreds of grassroots advocates across Connecticut who will be asking the legislature to pass a national popular vote bill during next year’s legislative session. If you’re one of the seven out of ten U.S. adults who agrees that the candidate with the most votes nationwide should become the president, please contact State Senator Marilyn Moore and State Representative Dave Rutigliano and ask them to vote yes on NPV.

This is not a partisan issue. In 2004 A switch of 60,000 Ohio voters in 2014 would have put Kerry in the White House, despite three million more votes cast for President Bush. Contrary to what many Republican state legislators claimed, the compact is not a Democratic plan to gain an unfair advantage. Newt Gingrich endorsed the compact in 2014, and just after the 2016 election, President-elect Trump said, “I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. There’s a reason for doing this, because it brings all the states into play.” He’s right: with a national popular vote, every vote cast in Connecticut would matter, just like they do in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and the other nine battleground states.

Michael Barker

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