The National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2600 members calls upon the CT General Assembly to adopt the Interstate Compact to Elect the President of the United States by Popular Vote. As a profession that is deeply rooted in democratic ideals and processes we strongly believe that the time has come to recognize the total count of voters as the definitive outcome of presidential races.
No elections other than presidential continue to use an outdated and restrictive external body that is non-representative of the total vote count to determine the outcome of a public election. The use of the Electoral College is a throwback to days when the general public was not trusted to vote and not all citizens were entrusted with the right to vote. In the 21st Century the Electoral College is an archaic vehicle that has long ago stopped serving its purpose. The best way to overcome the undemocratic results of the Electoral College is to join those states already signed onto the Interstate Compact.
Our electoral system is based on the concept of one vote per person. The eventual implementation of the Interstate Compact will make that a reality for presidential races. This should be a bi-partisan issue as both major national political parties can find themselves winning the popular vote but losing the election in the Electoral College.
Adoption of the Interstate Compact means that every vote actually counts. It will encourage voters in “safe states” to come out to vote because they know that their vote will be counted and hold equal weight with the votes of every other voter in the election. For states like Connecticut it will mean that candidates cannot take the state for granted and it will provide our voters with a degree of influence that currently does not exist in most presidential elections. Such added attention is good for our democratic process in Connecticut, will increase voter turnout that has a ripple effect down ballot and will be an economic boost to the state economy every four years due to increased election expenditures within the state.
NASW/CT supports HB 5434, HB 5205, HB 5435 and SB 9. We urge the Government Elections and Administration Committee to vote joint favorably on one or more of these bills.