Updated 5/8/18 at 9:15 a.m.
Connecticut has become the twelfth state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a group of states passing laws requiring their state’s electors vote for the winner of the popular vote in presidential elections.
The Connecticut State Legislature passed the bill on Saturday by a vote of 21-14 in the state Senate. It passed the state House 77-73 last month. Gov. Dannel Molloy is expected to sign it into law.
With Connecticut, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact’s pooled-electoral-vote-count has reached 172. Ten states plus the District of Columbia have signed similar measures: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the D.C. Connecticut becomes the first state to join since New York in 2014.
The California-based National Popular Vote organization, which has been lobbying Connecticut years to pass the change, welcomed the move.
“We are grateful to our legislative champions and the Connecticut Senate for passing the National Popular Vote Bill and sending it to the Governor’s desk for signature,” Dr. John Koza, Chairman of National Popular Vote, said in a statement. “When the Governor signs, we will be 98 electoral votes away from ensuring the President is the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia and that every voter, in every state, is politically relevant in every presidential election.”
Theoretically the group could abolish the electoral college, or at least render it moot, if they get enough states to join their coalition to surpass 270 electoral votes, the threshold required to win a presidential election.
Similar bills have passed at least one chamber in twelve other states including New Mexico, Oregon, Arizona, and Oklahoma, the group says, together accounting for another ninety-six electoral votes. A total of 3,101 state legislators from all 50 states have endorsed popular-vote bills to date according to NPV.
“We will not stop until we achieve 270 or more electoral votes – enough for the proposal to take effect and guarantee that every voter, in every state, is politically relevant in every presidential election,” a spokesman told ITN.
“This country needs a national popular vote for president. It will give every future President – Republican, Democrat or Independent – a legitimate mandate to lead our nation forward. We encourage other state legislators to take action now,” Koza said.
President Trump won the electoral college in 2016 over Hillary Clinton by a count of 304-227, but lost the popular vote by some 3 million votes.
Photo by Lars Plougmann via Wikimedia Commons