by Guy Page
The Vermont Senate voted 22-7 Tuesday, Feb. 15 to join a national movement to elect a U.S. President by popular vote, rather than through the Electoral College.
S122 requires the traditional use of the Electoral College “except that if the agreement set forth in 17 V.S.A. chapter 58 (agreement among the states to elect the President by national popular vote) governs the appointment of presidential electors.” The bill does not explain how a popular vote agreement adopted by the states would supercede the electoral college established in the U.S. Constitution.
Most of the ‘popular vote’ push comes from ‘blue’ states with large urban populations who believe the electoral college gives an unfair electoral advantage to small states. Both Donald Trump and George Bush won electoral college elections, despite losing the popular vote.
The Senate vote fell along strictly partisan lines, with all Republicans voting no.
The bill now goes to the House. It is unclear when the House Government Operations Committee, busy with legislative redistricting, will have time to consider H122.