HARTFORD – As a republic nation, the United States has a very unique system by which we elect a president. It is modeled after our constitution and form of government. Majority party legislators in Connecticut, however, want to change this process. Last week they pushed a bill, H.B. 5421, through the House of Representatives with a vote of 77-73 to adopt an interstate compact to elect a U.S. President solely by a national popular vote. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) opposed the legislation, saying that it would take away the voices and choices of our citizens.
This bill, which is now awaiting consideration in the Senate, would amend our constitution and enter Connecticut into the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote,” thereby committing Connecticut’s votes in the Electoral College to the presidential candidate that wins the popular vote nationally, regardless of whether such presidential candidate wins the popular vote within the state. The compact would take effect when enough jurisdictions have joined and cumulatively possess a majority of Electoral College votes (270).
“This change would go against the very spirit of our great constitution,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “Our transition of power is peaceful and orderly. It is unnecessary to disrupt this process. The Electoral College is in place for a reason – one that particularly benefits the State of Connecticut. As a small state, we rely on our representation in the Electoral College to make elections fair amongst bigger states with a larger input in the National Popular Vote.
“In addition, I am concerned about the constitutionality of this legislation,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “We should be amending our constitution through due process, which is through a constitutional convention held by Congress.”