Connecticut Wants to Change How Presidents Are Elected

The Nutmeg State has joined a multi-state pledge to award electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2018 6:00 PM CDT
Connecticut to Pledge Electoral Votes to Popular-Vote Winner
Electioneers greet voters outside the Hamilton County Government Center during early voting in Noblesville, Ind.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – A newly passed Connecticut law places the Nutmeg State among a growing group of US states that aim to change the way America chooses its president. Per NPR, the state's legislature voted over the weekend to send a bill to Gov. Dannel Malloy that ensures Connecticut's seven electoral votes go to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide. Malloy applauded the legislature's move in a statement on Saturday. "With the exception of the presidency, every elected office in the country, from city council, to United States senator, to governor, is awarded the candidate who receives the most votes," said the Democrat. "The vote of every American citizen should count equally." Connecticut joins a compact of 10 other states plus Washington, DC, all of which have made the same pledge.

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"People are very excited. It really helps," Barry Fadem, president of the California-based National Popular Vote organization, told the AP. After lobbying Connecticut lawmakers to join the group for 11 years, Fadem said he hopes other states will now be encouraged to join. With the expected addition of Connecticut's seven electoral votes, the group now has 172. Opponents argue that Connecticut's influence in the presidential election will be hurt by the national popular vote. Republican Sen. Michael McLachlan predicted that candidates will only focus on large population centers, ignoring rural areas and small states like Connecticut. "If you live in New York City, they may as well send limousines to get people to the polls," said McLachlan, who also predicted "a legal train wreck" if the compact ultimately gets enough states to vote in unison for the popular vote winner. (Read more Connecticut stories.)

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