Posted by Paul Fidalgo on May 13, 2009There is encouraging news from the Constitution State: the Connecticut House of Representatives yesterday narrowly approved the state's entry into the National Popular Vote plan.
The bill must now pass the state senate and win the signature of Gov. Jodi Rell. If that happens, Connecticut would join the other member states in agreeing to allocate all 7 of its presidential electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, neutralizing the undemocratic Electoral College system. The agreement would not go into effect until sufficient states have signed on to make up 270 electoral votes, an Electoral College majority. So far, the agreement has been passed in Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey, and just last week Washington State joined the cause with Gov. Christine Gregoire's signature. Connecticut's addition would give the plan 68 electoral votes, over a quarter of the way toward 270.
In all, 28 state legislative chambers in 18 states have now passed the NPV plan.
State Rep. Thomas Drew hit the nail on the head when he told the Connecticut Post that the Electoral College "actually distorts democracy," and Rep. James F. Spallone noted that moving to direct election of the president would "enhance confidence, participation and excitement in small states and big states alike."
Opponents, however, seem to remain stuck on a misconception that the plan would "force" states to give their electoral votes to a candidate that may not have won their state, but this misses the point entirely. The NPV plan changes the Electoral College from an obstruction of the popular will to a ratifier in that it would always elect the candidate who has won the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Rather than states throwing their votes away, the actual voters themselves are empowered, as each and every one of us would have an equal vote for president – something we are sorely lacking under the Electoral College.