Delaware Senate Approves Compact Giving State's Electoral Colleg - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Senate Approves Compact Giving State's Electoral College Votes to Winner of Nation's Popular Vote

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DOVER, Del.- When Delawareans head to the polls to cast ballots in future elections, their votes might not decide which presidential candidate gets the state's three votes in the electoral college.

That scenario would play out under an interstate compact the state Senate voted to join on Thursday in a 14-7 decision. Senate Bill 22 would enter Delaware into an agreement with other states to tie their votes in the electoral college to the winner of the nationwide popular vote, regardless of how individual states voted.

The compact does not go into enough until enough states sign onto the agreement and pool together an aggregate of at least 270 votes in the electoral college --- a majority needed to elect a president. Legislatures in eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia have signed onto the agreement, representing 181 votes.

Delaware may only represent three votes in the electoral college, but passing Senate Bill 22 would reduce the remaining votes needed to reach the threshold of 270 votes.

“I am thrilled my colleagues see the value in ensuring all voices -- whether Democrat or Republican, from small states or large -- deserve to be heard when it comes to electing the President of the United States of America,” said Sen. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark/Bear), the bill’s prime sponsor in the Senate.

Saul Anuzis, a former Michigan Republican party official backing the National Popular Vote movement, said passing SB22 would give a voter in Delaware the same say in electing a president as someone in a battleground state like Pennsylvania.

"Forty states every year are completely ignored when it comes to national politics so what we're trying to do is make sure every voter in every state is politically relevant at every time," he said.

The measure offers supporters of deciding presidential elections through the national popular vote a way to circumvent the lengthy and difficult process of seeking an amendment to the United States Constitution.

Sen. Dave Lawson voted against joining the compact and said the agreement turns Delaware's "precious votes" over to mob rule.

"That is absolutely neutering our electoral college. They can say they're not doing it --- but it's one in the same," he said.

Although the measure has been sought in Delaware and other states before this year, Hank McCann with the Republican Party of Kent County viewed it as a way to game the electoral college system following the election of President Donald Trump (R) over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In that race, Clinton won the nationwide popular vote by 2.8 million votes but lost in the electoral college to Trump by a margin of 304 to 227. It was the second time in less than 20 years a president had won the electoral college but not the popular vote.

"I'm pretty unconvinced," McCann said.

Anuzis also pointed to the re-election of George W. Bush as an example of why the compact would work. In that election, Democrat John Kerry fell some 60,000 votes shy of winning the state of Ohio and securing enough electoral college votes to win the presidency.

Bush won the popular vote that year by roughly 3 million votes.

"The country has a much more fairer apportionment across the board when it comes to running for president," Anuzis said.

SB22 now heads to the state House, where similar measures have been passed in years past. Gov. John Carney said on Tuesday he would sign the legislation.

But McCann said he hopes the bill does not get that far.

"We formed the constitution for a reason and it has worked well for 250 or whatever years," he said. "Why would we try to tinker with it or go around it?"




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