This letter by Ridley Knapp was published in the Greenwich Time.
I write in opposition to the current way by which the Electoral College operates. The Electoral College is an antiquated system, originally proposed by the Founding Fathers to separate the population of the United States from the executive branch. While it is correct that the Electoral College pulls power away from “large states and large population cities,” this power is not simply destroyed: it is given to smaller and swing states.
Yes, California contributed 4.3 million votes to Secretary Hillary Clinton’s plurality, but to simply say Donald Trump would win if you don’t count California is irresponsible and disenfranchising of literally millions of people. Trump would have won if the votes from California weren’t counted, but they were. Californians are Americans, too.
Now, let’s talk about math. If 38,872 voters, split between Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, had voted for Clinton instead of Trump, she would have won those three states and 280 electoral votes, winning the presidency. Are those 38,872 voters, less than two-thirds the population of Greenwich, really more deserving of deciding the election than 4.3 million Californians? The answer is, unquestionably, no.
The next question, then, concerns how this problem may be solved, and the easiest remedy is the National Popular Vote Compact. Article II of the Constitution, so “astutely” included by the Founding Fathers, states that, “each state shall appoint, in such manners as the legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.” Therefore, a state legislature may pass a law directing the states’ electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote. Many states have passed such laws, but they will not go into effect until states with a sum total of 270 electoral votes agree follow suit. Connecticut should be the next step of this compact.
The reformation of the Electoral College by way of the National Popular Vote Compact continues down a trail blazed by Supreme Court cases Baker v Carr (1962) and Gray v Sanders (1963). The latter case, widely known for its coining of the phrase “one man, one vote” stated that “the weighting of votes through the county unit system violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by giving more voting power to residents of particularly small rural counties.” It is not difficult to expand this logic to the current system under which the Electoral College operates.
I am a Democrat, but my support of the National Popular Vote Compact does not stem from political machinations. Republicans proved they could win a majority of votes in the 2014 midterms elections, winning 52 pecent of votes cast for House candidates, as well as winning the 2004 presidential election by a more than 3 million vote margin. The Republican Party can, have, and will again win the popular vote.
Therefore, I urge state Sen. Scott Frantz and state Representatives Livvy Floren, Mike Bocchino, and Fred Camillo to support S.B. 9 and H.B. 5205, and to do their parts to truly enfranchise the American people.