Connecticut’s legislature has passed a bill that would give the state’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.
The state Senate voted 21-14 on Saturday to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which includes 10 states and the District of Columbia. The state House passed the measure last week, 77 to 73.
The compact requires its members to cast their Electoral College ballots for the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. The agreement goes into effect once states representing at least 270 electoral votes — the number needed for a candidate to win the presidency — signs the compact.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has promised to sign the legislation committing his state to the interstate agreement. Once he does so, the compact will have 172 electoral votes. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia have already signed the accord.
Malloy has described the current Electoral College voting system as “fundamentally unfair.”
“With the exception of the presidency, every elected office in the country, from city council, to United States senator, to governor, is awarded the candidate who receives the most votes,” the governor said, according to the Connecticut Mirror. “The vote of every American citizen should count equally, yet under the current system, voters from sparsely populated states are awarded significantly more power than those from states like Connecticut.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots, but won the electoral vote 304 to 227, thus clinching the presidency.
According to The Associated Press, Connecticut ― which cast its seven electoral votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 ― will be the first state to join the National Popular Vote agreement since Trump’s victory.
State Rep. Matthew Lesser (D) said it’s taken a decade of lobbying to convince Connecticut lawmakers to join the compact.
Trump’s victory, Lesser told AP, appears to have given the issue “some renewed momentum.”