Should we elect presidents by popular vote? Malloy thinks so

Whether to keep the Electoral College system of electing U.S. presidents or to change to a popular vote system is a long-standing issue for debate in the country.

And now Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — as well as Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman — have weighed in on the issue.

The state’s two top elected officials — both Democrats — have announced their support of a bill being considered by the Connecticut General Assembly, HB 5126: An Act Concerning an Agreement Among the States to Elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote.

‘An equal vote for every American’

“I fully support a national popular vote for president,” Malloy said. “All Americans deserve to have their votes counted equally for the highest office in the country.

“Connecticut should join the nine other states and the District of Columbia in taking this important step,” he said. “The candidate who wins the most votes should be president. An equal vote for every American citizen, regardless of in which state they happen to live, is the fairest and most democratic way to go.”

Wyman agreed. “Unfortunately, too many presidential elections have focused on swing states, leaving a host of voters in states across the country feeling disenfranchised,” she said.

“The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries on earth,” Wyman said. “We should take pride in our diversity by weighing each vote equally in presidential elections.”

Other states back effort, too

Connecticut would join 10 other jurisdictions who have already enacted this legislation, currently representing 136 electoral votes of the requisite 270 necessary to elect a president. The other jurisdictions are California, the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington state.

If enough states to represent the 270 electoral votes needed to elect the president sign on, an inter-state compact will go into effect.

The Electoral College elects presidents based on winner-take-all system by state (with exceptions in two states), so candidates now focus their attention on swing states that could go either Democratic or Republican. Connecticut now is viewed as a strong Democratic state, so few presidential candidates bother to campaign here during an election.