Sunday, June 28, 2009

How they voted

The State Legislature voted on three bills dealing with elections in the session just concluded.  Here is how the Middletown delegation to the state senate and legislature voted on them.

This act requires a special election to fill U.S. Senate vacancies under most circumstances. It was passed 33-17 in the Senate, and 107-37 in the House.

  • Paul Doyle (Senate, D, 9th district): YES
  • Thomas Gaffey (Senate, D, 13th district): ABSENT

  • James O'Rourke (House, D, 32nd district): YES
  • Joseph Serra (House, D, 33rd district): YES
  • Gail Hamm (House, D, 34th district): YES
  • Matt Lesser (House, D, 100th district): YES

This bill makes it easier for a qualified elector to register on the day of election. It was passed 81-65 in the House, and was not voted on in the Senate.

  • James O'Rourke (House, D, 32nd district): YES
  • Joseph Serra (House, D, 33rd district): NO
  • Gail Hamm (House, D, 34th district): YES
  • Matt Lesser (House, D, 100th district): YES

This bill adopts the interstate compact entitled “The Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote,” under which Connecticut would commit its presidential electors to the national popular vote winner in a presidential election. If enough states join the compact, it would effectively lead to direct election of the president (avoiding the electoral college). It was passed 76-69 in the House and was not voted on in the Senate.  

  • James O'Rourke (House, D, 32nd district): YES
  • Joseph Serra (House, D, 33rd district): ABSENT
  • Gail Hamm (House, D, 34th district): NO
  • Matt Lesser (House, D, 100th district): YES


Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable and outrageous that our state legislature is wasting time and taxpayers money on a law that the Federal Supreme Court would find unconstitutional. The Federal Constitution clearly states how presidents are elected. Our legislators are ignorant of the the Federal Constitution and have no business being in an elected public office!

Anonymous said...

What the Founding Fathers said in the U.S. Constitution about how electors should be awarded is: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all rule) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote.

In 1789 only three states used the winner-take-all rule.

There is no valid argument that the winner-take-all rule is entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all rule.

As a result of changes in state laws, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the winner-take-all rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.

The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes.

Anonymous said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes -- 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


Anonymous said...

This whole scheme is undemocratic at best. If a majority of Connecticut voters vote for a particular candidate, that is the way our electors should vote. To negate the vote of the electorate is totally outrageous and should be unconstitutional. I want my vote to count. I do not want my vote to be altered to conform to the majority. What about minority representation? What are we becoming a nation of clones… no a nation of wimps!

The popular vote of the president will render small states irrelevant and lead to state ceding from the Republic.