In November 2016, the United States watched as Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump, even though she received at least two million more votes. After the dust settled, many of Clinton’s supporters felt that the results were unfair — more Americans had selected her to be the next president than Trump. Now, 11 states have pledged to give all of their Electoral College votes to the candidate the winner of the national popular vote, ensuring that something like the 2016 election never happens again.
On May 5th, Connecticut’s Senate voted to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This agreement, which has so far been adopted by 11 states and Washington, D.C., would mean that, whoever wins the most votes in the country would win the state’s electoral votes, too. Introduced last week, the compact will only take effect if enough states join it to make up a majority of Electoral College votes (270). The 11 states signed have 172 Electoral votes among them, and they are all states that voted for Clinton in the 2016 election.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has promised to sign the popular vote bill passed by the state’s senate.
Currently, each state has a number of Electoral College votes based on how many members of Congress the state has. Whichever candidate wins the most votes in a state wins all of the state’s electoral votes. And whoever wins more than 270 electoral votes wins the election — that’s why Trump won over Clinton.
Supporters of the system have noted that the Electoral College allows rural states better representation, since most of the country’s population is concentrated on the coasts. But some critics argue that the Electoral College system makes it easier to win without widespread support. According to NPR, it’s possible to win the necessary 270 Electoral votes to become president with less than 25 percent of the popular vote.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact’s website states that its passage will make sure that “every vote, in every state, will matter in every election.” Regardless of what happens to the Electoral College, we agree that every vote should matter equally. We’ll be watching to see what happens next.