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Godfrey Calls For End To Electoral College As He Casts CT Votes For Clinton

State Rep. Bob Godfrey
State Rep. Bob Godfrey Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris, file

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — State Rep. Bob Godfrey, a Democrat from Danbury, acknowledged the irony of the situation as he was elected to be chairman of the Electoral College in Connecticut on Monday.

“This is the first position I have ever held that I would be delighted to do away with and go to do a direct election of president of the United States, as we do for every other elected official in the United States of America right down to dog catcher,” said Godfrey, who was one of seven electors for Connecticut.

Godfrey's presidential candidate — and the candidate of the other six members — was Democrat Hillary Clinton, reflecting her win in the popular vote in the election in Connecticut last month:

  • The Clinton/Kaine ticket garnered 897,572 votes, or 54.57 percent; and
  • The Trump/ Pence earned 673,215 votes, or 40.93 percent

Clinton, in fact, won the popular vote across the country over President-Elect Donald Trump, according to FactCheck.org.

  • Clinton: 65,818,318 votes, or 48.1 percent
  • Trump: 62,958,211 votes, or 46.0 percent

But she lost in the state-by-state Electoral College count.

As the Electoral College met Monday in each state across the country, 306 were slated to vote for Trump and 232 for Clinton. (The vote was continuing across the country Monday, but three of Clinton's electors had voted for Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle.) A total of 270 of the 538 votes are needed to win.

This is the fourth time in U.S. history that the winner of the presidential election lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College vote, resulting in wins:

  • In 1824, for John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson;
  • In 1876, for Rutherford B. Hayes over Samuel J. Tilden;
  • In 1888, for Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland; and
  • In 2000, for George W. Bush over Al Gore.

In Hartford, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill presided over the vote for Clinton for president and Tim Kaine for vice president. It is the 19th time that Connecticut’s electors were pledged to the unsuccessful candidates.

“In 2016 we had record numbers of people who registered and cast votes," Merrill said. "I do hope we see that level of engagement continue in our communities in the months and years ahead. Democracy does not begin and end on Election Day.”

The Electoral College vote was held in the Senate chambers at the state Capitol at noon with school children, civic activists, elected officials and others in attendance.

A slate of seven electors were chosen by their state political parties, including in addition to Godfrey:

  • Barbara C. Gordon of West Hartford;
  • Steven James Jones of Tolland;
  • Ellen S. Nurse of Hartford;
  • Edward F. Piazza of New Haven;
  • State Rep. Christopher Rosario of Bridgeport; and
  • Jeanette Morrison of New Haven who replaced Tyisha S. Walker, also of New Haven.

After the votes were cast, the ballots were then wax-sealed by staff of the Secretary of the State’s office. They are then delivered to Congress, where a joint session of the House and Senate will take place Jan. 6 to officially count the ballots from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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