In your May 5 article Connecticut commits to national popular vote for president, you write that the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact “essentially is a constitutional workaround, a way to undo a 200-year-old element of the Constitution without amending it.”
It’s disappointing to see the CT Mirror repeat this canard that was used by state legislators opposed to electing the president the way they are elected: where every vote cast matters and the candidate who receives the most votes wins. The NPV Compact is not a “workaround” that undoes the Electoral College.
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution explicitly and exclusively leaves it to the states to determine how to award their Electoral College votes. The NPV Compact does nothing more than exercise that responsibility so that the presidential candidate with the most votes nationwide wins.
In both the House and Senate debates opponents invoked the brilliance of the founding fathers to defend the status quo. But the status quo that the Compact seeks to shed is the winner-take-all method by which 48 of the 50 states award their Electoral College votes. Winner-take-all did not come into common use until the 1820s, by which time the founding fathers were all dead.
The founding fathers were brilliant; we have them to thank for the incredible creation that is the United States. But they were not infallible. The Electoral College was designed as a compromise to give slave-owning states more influence in electing the president, without actually enfranchising slaves (or women).
We applaud the 98 members of the Connecticut General Assembly who voted to join the NPV Compact. They took an important step to strengthen our democratic republic, in a manner that follows the dictates of the Constitution. We look forward to other states joining the Compact so that every vote cast for president will matter, whether cast in a red, blue or purple state.
The following co-signers are members of National Popular Vote CT, the grassroots advocacy group that successfully lobbied to have Connecticut join the National Popular Vote Compact: Leslee Asch-Morrison, Old Greenwich; Michael Barker, Trumbull;Marta Daniels, Chester;Rozanne Gates, Westport;Paul Honig, Harwinton; Andrea Levine, Greenwich;Linnea McCaffrey, Manchester; Susan Miller, Windsor; Mary Jo Nosal, Old Lyme; Jonathan Perloe, Cos Cob; Joanna Swomley, Greenwich; Sunny Torres, Harwinton; David Weisbrod, Greenwich; Steven Winter, New Haven.