This letter by Steven Winter was published in the New Haven Register.
In a recent letter criticizing those advocating for Connecticut to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, Michael Maturo claims that they “should be more concerned with the desires, interests, and opinions of their (Connecticut) constituents.” In doing so, he argues that Connecticut benefits from “a small but deliberate bias in favor of less populous states.”
Yet, Maturo fails to realize that Connecticut’s interests are scarcely represented in the Electoral College, as candidates focus their energies on swing states, not less populous states. Connecticut’s votes — and its interests — are taken for granted.
Heeding the advice of National Popular Vote advocates like Sen. Mae Flexer is not only equitable — it will help put Connecticut’s interests first. In a national popular vote, when every vote counts and counts equally, candidates will refocus their attention on states with greater population density. Connecticut, the 4th most densely populated state, would obviously benefit from this.
While Maturo worries that New York and New Jersey would get all the attention, a renewed focus on densely-populated regions would spur new investments that benefit the entire Northeast. Imagine a highspeed rail line connecting the Northeast corridor: projects like this would benefit many citizens in Connecticut and neighboring states.
These projects would make wiser use of the nation’s tax dollars than the current system, which disproportionately rewards swing states with 7 percent more federal grant funding than “spectator” states and double the presidential disaster declarations.
The Electoral College is broken. Nearly three million votes cast for the nation’s highest office, including more than 200,000 in Connecticut, didn’t count because they were cast on the wrong side of state lines. Fixing the College and correcting this inequity can serve both the national interest, through better allocation of funds, and Connecticut’s interests, by putting it back on the electoral map.