National Popular Vote bill, HB 5434, passes committee!

On a 9-8 party-line vote the National Popular Vote bill, HB 5434, passed out of the Government Administration and Elections committee yesterday!

In order to get the bill to the House floor for a full vote of the House of Representatives, we’ll need to show that there is strong support for the bill. The best way to do that is to recruit additional co-sponsors for the bill – we’ve now got 32 (see the full list here) but we need more!

Please call or email your state representative and state senator to ask them to co-sponsor now that the bill has left committee. Representatives can no longer say they want to see what will happen to the bill in committee. Please give them a deadline when you reach out: ask them to make a commitment to co-sponsor in the next week.

If you’re interested in more ways to help out, please fill out this quick 2 minute survey about ways to get involved.

Committee Vote on National Popular Vote Bill this Friday, Mar. 24

 Up or down vote to decide fate of bill

At its 11 am meeting on Friday, March 24th in Room 2A of the Legislative Office Building (300 Capitol Ave. in Hartford) the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) committee will hold an up or down vote to decide the fate of Connecticut’s National Popular Vote legislation, H.B. 5434.
 

What you can do:

 
  1. If you’re able, we need you to attend this hearing. We must show the General Assembly that Connecticut citizens will not tolerate another President elected without the democratic consent of the people and another election where our votes don’t matter. Wear red, white and / or blue in support.
  2. Call and / or email your state representative and state senator, and email members of the GAE Committee in support of H.B. 5434. Several Democratic members of the GAE Committee have already voiced their support for the bill so it’s important to email those who haven’t. Please reach out to these legislators and BCC nvpconnecticut@gmail.com so we can track the numbers:
You can also reach out to the rest of the committee:

The State of Voting: CT Debates a New Way to Elect the President

League of Women Voters of Westport and National Popular Vote Connecticut to host panel discussion at Westport Country Playhouse

Leading experts, academics, and historians to debate the merits of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

With accusations of voter fraud and “rigged” elections still fresh in the minds of Connecticut residents, a divisive presidential election only months past, and a current contentious national political landscape, the debate between voter integrity and voter suppression rages. To understand what underlies these competing concerns, the League of Women Voters and National Popular Vote Connecticut present The State of Voting: CT Debates a New Way to Elect the President, a moderated panel of four experts discussing the merits of the National Popular Vote. The debate and discussion on Thursday, March 2, at 7:00pm at the Westport Country Playhouse features four experts and will include an opportunity for questions from the public.

Panelists:

Mark Albertson, historian

Hendrik Hertzberg, essayist

Luther Weeks, CT Voters Count

Moderator:

Victoria Bassetti, Brennan Center for Justice

This is a nonpartisan event, free and open to the public.  Due to limited seating, please reserve your seat in advance by calling the Playhouse box office at (203) 227-4177 or emailing boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org.

 About the Co-Sponsors

The League of Women Voters of Westport is a nonpartisan political organization, encouraging informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influencing public policy through education and advocacy.  www.lwvwestportct.org

NPV-CT is a bipartisan grassroots group advocating for the application of a “one person one vote” philosophy to presidential elections, specifically through the adoption in Connecticut of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

About the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC)

The National Popular Vote Compact is an agreement between states to allocate all of their state’s electors to the Presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.  The NPV Compact has been enacted into law by 11 states already, and NPV bills are before the Connecticut legislature now. 

Participating Speakers

Victoria Bassetti, moderator

Victoria Bassetti is a fellow at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice and the author of Electoral Dysfunction, the companion book to the documentary. She worked on Capitol Hill for almost a decade, where she served as chief counsel to Senator Dick Durbin as well as chief counsel and staff director of a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago and Harper’s.

Rick Hertzberg

Rick Hertzberg is an American journalist, best known as the principal political commentator for The New Yorker magazine. He has also been a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and editor of The New Republic, and is the author of ¡Obámanos! The Rise of a New Political Era and Politics: Observations & Arguments. In 2003, Harvard Magazine termed him “the most stylish liberal political essayist in America,” and in 2009, Forbes named Hertzberg one of the “25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media,” placing him at number seventeen.

Luther Weeks, CTVotersCount

Luther Weeks is a retired software engineer and computer scientist. He was active for several years in voting integrity issues and citizen-lobbying the Connecticut Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Mr. Weeks’ efforts in Connecticut contributed to the passage of the paper record law in 2005 and the selection of optical-scan over DRE (touch screen) voting equipment in 2006. Since 2007, he has organized citizen volunteers to observe Connecticut’s post-election audits, independently report on those audits, and perform citizen audits of other aspects of the election system.

Mark Albertson
Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine in Monroe; and, is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America.  He has authored several book, teaches history as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College, and is an instructor at the Lifetime Learners Institute. In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the state legislature in Hartford for his efforts in commemorating the centennial of battleship Connecticut.

Contacts for Comment

NPV-CT, Jonathan Perloe, npv.ct.compact@gmail.com

LWV Westport, Sheila Ward, lwvwestportct@yahoo.com

Press RSVP to: Michael Barker, mbarker@gmail.com

In Brief

What: The State of Voting: CT Debates a New Way to Elect the President

When: March 2 at 7:00p.m.

Where: Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport.

This is a nonpartisan free event open to the public, but due to limited seating please reserve your seat in advance by calling the Playhouse box office at (203) 227-4177 or emailing boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org.

Public hearing Feb 22. Time to rally!

We believe that democracy demands that every vote should matter equally and the president should be the one who wins the most votes.
Our goal is to get the CT General Assembly to pass HB 5434 to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, joining 11 other states whose legislatures have agreed to cast their electoral votes for the presidential candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states. The Compact comes into effect when states with a combined total of 270 votes have signed on, thus guaranteeing that the winner of the popular vote will win in the Electoral College.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO!

We MUST show legislators that HB 5434 has broad public support. 

1. Attend the public hearing and press event at 10am on Wed. Feb 22 in Hartford (Legislative Office Bldg, 300 Capitol Ave). An impressive turnout is very important to generate media coverage and grab legislators’ attention. Click here if you’re interested or have questions about logistics, parking etc. or sign up on our Facebook event (and invite lots of friends!).

2. Contact your state legislators to tell them you support HB 5434, the National Popular Vote Compact. Ask them if they do too; if not why notClick here to get to the NPV website and then type your zip code in the Take Action Box. You get a choice of messages you can modify (better yet, copy and paste one of ours below; change it up a bit for greater impact). MAKE SURE YOU MENTION YOUR NAME AND TOWN! Please let us know what you hear back by forwarding replies to NPVconnecticut@gmail.com.

3. Submit written testimony to the GAE Committee via email to gaetestimony@cga.ct.gov as a PDF or Word attachment by 10 pm Tuesday, February 21, include “I support HB 5434” in email subject line, and mention your support for HB 5434 at the beginning of their testimony.

Click here to get tips on submitting testimony (submit testimony only if you have time to write something of your own with guidance from us, form emails will not help). Please “bcc” us at NPVconnecticut@gmail.com so we can follow what’s happening.

HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT FOR HB 5434

Communicating in your own words is best, but here are ways to express your support. Be sure to include your name and the town you live in, and for emails put NPVconnecticut@gmail.com in the “bcc” line. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU HEAR BACK.

  • I urge you to support HB 5434, the proposal to elect the President by the national popular vote in all 50 states. That way CT voters would matter. Please let me know if you support the bill, and if not, why not?
  • Presidential candidates rarely campaign in Connecticut. With the National Popular Vote Compact, HB 5434, every vote in CT would matter and candidates would pay attention to us. Do you favor the Compact? If not, why don’t you believe that every vote should matter equally?
  • I’m tired of hearing that battleground states are the only ones that matter in presidential elections.  What about Connecticut?  With HB 5434, the National Popular Vote Compact, our votes would matter the same as  votes in OH, FL and PA. Please let me know if you support the bill, and if not, why not?
  • I’m writing to let you know I support HB5434, the National Popular Vote Compact that awards the presidency to the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide. The Compact would make one person, one vote a reality. Are you in  favor of the Compact? If not, can you explain why every vote shouldn’t count equally, no matter what state you live in?
  • I believe in a democracy every vote should matter equally and the president should be the candidate who gets the most votes. Under the current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes, it doesn’t work that way. Please support HB5434, the National Popular Vote Compact. Will you vote yes on HB5434? If no, why not?

Connecticut should support electing the president by the popular vote!

The Connecticut General Assembly should adopt the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (H.B. 5434) in the 2017 legislative session. There’s a hearing coming up in Hartford (details coming soon) and our legislators need to know:

The president should represent every American equally – no matter their gender, race, religion, political views, or home state. In all other elections, the candidate with the most votes wins. Our highest office should be no different.

The Compact provides a straightforward, constitutional way for states to elect the president by popular vote. Connecticut should adopt it!

It's time to elect the president by the popular vote.

The Connecticut General Assembly should adopt the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (H.B. 5434) in the 2017 legislative session.

The president should represent every American equally - no matter their gender, race, religion, political views, or home state. In all other elections, the candidate with the most votes wins. Our highest office should be no different.

The winner-take-all Electoral College effectively disenfranchises millions of Americans in red and blue states. Despite winning the popular vote by 2.9 million votes (2.1%), Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College in 2016. Similarly, in 2004, had 60,000 Ohio voters switched from George Bush to John Kerry, Bush would have won the popular vote by a similar margin but lost the presidency.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Republicans' votes for president haven’t mattered since 1988, when George H.W. Bush won the state. Connecticut’s voters – and their interests – are taken for granted election after election while swing states receive all the attention. This inequality isn’t limited to elections. Swing states also receive significantly more federal grant funding due to their electoral clout.

The Compact is an agreement among states to award their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote. When states holding a majority of electoral college votes sign onto the Compact, it will go into effect, making the national popular vote winner the president.

The Compact would not abolish the Electoral College. But it would allow for a national popular vote within the confines of the Constitution, which gives the states the power to appoint Electors, “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Thus, by taking action together, states can make the change to the national popular vote without amending the Constitution.

It's time for the Connecticut General Assembly to add Connecticut to the growing list of states supporting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, joining ten states and the District of Columbia in moving the nation toward electing the president by the national popular vote.

[your signature]

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The Compact is an agreement among states to award their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote. When states holding a majority of electoral college votes sign onto the Compact, it will go into effect, making the national popular vote winner the president.

The Compact would not abolish the Electoral College. But it would allow for a national popular vote within the confines of the Constitution, which gives the states the power to appoint Electors, “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Thus, by taking action together, states can make the change to the national popular vote without amending the Constitution.

National popular vote bill to get a hearing!

ThE HEARING

We’re excited to announce that the national popular vote bill (H.B. 5434) will have a hearing in Hartford at the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) committee!

Stay tuned for details on the date and time have of the hearing – it could be as soon as Friday, February 10th.

What you can do:

  1. Call or email your state rep and state senator and let them know that you support the bill. Be sure to BCC npvconnecticut@gmail.com so we can track the number of supportive emails.
  2. Share this post and spread the word – once we know the date and time, we’ll be holding a rally at the state house the day of the hearing.
  3. Email members of the GAE committee (and BCC npvconnecticut@gmail.com) voice your support. In particular, let House committee chair Dan Fox know you’re in favor. Here are the GAE committee members: