UPDATE: SB22 passes the Senate 14-7, with all Democrats and two Republicans (Delcollo and Cloutier) voting for it.
We wrote about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact back in February, and now Senator Bryan Townsend has introduced Senate Bill 22. The bill would add Delaware to the interstate compact that would deliver each states’ electoral votes to the national popular vote winner rather than to the winner of the popular vote in their individual states. The compact agreement does not become effective until the compact has enough states involved to reach 270 electoral votes.
The bill had its hearing in the Senate yesterday, and it was released from the Senate Elections Committee with 4 votes on its merits out of the five votes on the committee (Republican and Sussex Countian Bryant Richardson was likely the hold out, while Senators Poore, Walsh, McBride and Cloutier voted it out of committee). The bill is now on the agenda today for a vote on the Senate floor. I would expect it to pass, given that I don’t foresee any Democratic Senator voting no, and Republican Cathy Cloutier is likely a yes vote as co-sponsor of the bill.
I was surprised to learn after I had posted the February article on this issue that this was a bipartisan national effort with some significant Republican party support for the organization. Indeed, the National Popular Vote organization has a huge section devoted to debunking the myths that this compact would only benefit Democrats in presidential races. Which is why this bill has some significant Republican sponsorship in Anthony Delcollo, Ruth Briggs King, Cathy Cloutier, Mike Ramone and Mike Smith. Jeff Speigelman was a sponsor, but I guess he got too scared of the Trumpists in his district and was not brave or confident enough to explain it to them, so he cowardly withdrew his name from the bill. Such a shame, Jeff. I thought you were a leader and not a follower.
Prior to an attack of cowardice, Spiegelman had this to say about the compact: “I believe this compact fits the spirit of the original intent of our Founding Fathers who believed that all the people of all the states, not the select people of a select number of select states, should determine the outcome of our most sacred national elections,” he said.
“One person, one vote is a hallmark of our democracy,” said Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-11th. “But for too long, our votes for the highest office in the land have only mattered if we live in one of a few battleground states,” he said. “This bill helps ensure that every vote – in every state – will matter.”
“In every other election across the spectrum, from school board to state legislator to U.S. Senate, we elect candidates through a popular vote,” said Rep. David Bentz, D-18th. “By passing the National Popular Vote, every Delaware voter’s vote will matter just as much as those of voters in the swing states that get all the attention from presidential campaigns.”
“Significantly, this proposal does not require an amendment to the federal Constitution, which would permit the Delaware Legislature to leave the compact if there are unforeseen flaws in this proposal,” said Sen. Anthony Delcollo, R-7th.
Where is the bill? Senate Elections, Govt. & Community Affairs 2/27/19
Democratic Sponsors — Townsend, McDowell, Bentz, Brown, Ennis, hansen, Lockman, Paradee, Poore, Sokola, Sturgeon, Walsh, Baumbach, Bennett, Bolden, Brady, Chukwuocha, Cooker, Jaques, K.Johnson, Q.Johnson, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Matthews, Minor-Brown, Mitchell, Osienski, Seigfried, Williams, Viola
Republican Sponsors — Delcollo, Cloutier, Briggs King, Ramone, Smith
Yes Votes —
No Votes —