Of all the ripples from this last presidential election, this might be the most significant. The Connecticut state House passed a measure Thursday that would give the state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who won the popular vote. The contingency on this measure is that enough states have to do the same.
The bill would have the state join an interstate compact that grants participating states’ votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote, according to the Hartford Courant.
This compact won’t go into effect until enough states join so that the group would have 270 electoral votes, the amount a presidential candidate must earn to win the Electoral College. So far, 10 states have joined the group. That represents a total of 165 electoral votes.
The support for the compact grew after both President Trump and former President George W. Bush won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote.
The measure passed the Connecticut State House with a vote of 77-73, it was largely along party lines. But three conservative Democrats voted against the interstate compact measure and one Republican supported it, according to the Courant.
Some have debated whether the measure was even constitutional because it changed the election process without approval from Congress.
“This is an act of political theater, artificial gimmick,” Rep. David Labriola (R) said. “This is something that is not necessary, is not constitutional.’’
Democrats defended the move saying that the Electoral College would not be eliminated.
“We could make a profound change that would enhance confidence, participation, excitement of a presidential election in small and large states alike,” said Rep. Daniel Fox (D).
The state attorney general has not yet given lawmakers an official opinion on the legalities of the measure. It now moves on to the Connecticut state Senate, which is also divided on the bill.