Popular Vote Compact Violates State Law

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To the Editor:

Kudos to Robert Ham for his excellent defense of the Electoral College. The notion of abandoning it tends to rest with those who treat it like some dangling appendage, rather than a central thread in America’s operational infrastructure and the only tool that safeguards a state’s votes from irregularities in any other state.

Ham mentions commentary about “a bid to change the rules” on presidential elections. Here’s the irony: the Connecticut legislature and governor sent the state over that cliff in 2018 with adoption of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). And perhaps unknowingly they did so (as did my own state legislature) in violation of state law. Here’s the relevant language from the Connecticut state Constitution:

ARTICLE SIXTH.* OF THE QUALIFICATIONS OF ELECTORS.

SEC. 1. “Every citizen of the United States who has attained the age of twenty-one years, who has resided in the town in which he offers himself to be admitted to the privileges of an elector at least six months next preceding the time he so offers himself … shall, on his taking such oath as may be prescribed by law, be an elector.”

“Legal Beagle” website offers advice on how to establish residency: ” … In Connecticut and other states, residency requirements vary depending on agency or purpose. The best way to establish residency in a new state is to sever all formal ties with your old state… Get a Connecticut driver’s license and register to vote in Connecticut…”

Meanwhile, National Popular Vote proposes to confiscate the state’s electoral votes and transfer them to the winner of votes cast by millions of people who specifically do not meet Connecticut state residency requirements.

At least two recent Supreme Court decisions (Chifalo v Washington and Moore v Harper) offer directional clues of how the Court might rule in NPVIC. No legal challenges have been filed yet because the Compact has not taken effect. If it does, it will be tied up in court for a long time.

Roberta Schlechter
Portland, Oregon

Schlechter is a volunteer regional director for the group Keep our 50 States