Thank you, Mr. President.
I want to thank all of those who are co-sponsoring this, especially Senator Parker who has carried this bill in the past. I appreciate their efforts as well as Assemblyman Dinowitz.
Elections are the foundation of our democracy. In order to have the most representative government possible, we need a system that both attracts voters to participate in the process and requires candidates to deal with all people on all issues.
That is not the current scenario in which we find ourselves every four years. Potential presidential candidates concentrate more than two-thirds of their advertising budget and two-thirds of their campaign stops in just five states. Almost 100 percent of their message is seen in approximately 16 “battleground” states.
New York has 19.5 million people, but we are routinely ignored by campaigns.
I want to empower people. I want to make New York state relevant in a national campaign again. I want a democracy that creates excitement in people, not apathy.
Joining the National Popular Vote compact creates that opportunity. It leverages the combined power of the states in the compact to say: No longer can you take us for granted. No longer can you effectively disenfranchise millions of Americans by ignoring us. No longer can you assume you have our vote.
I’m pleased to that this bill has bipartisan support not here in this chamber, but in other states as well. New York could be the tenth state to join the compact and I believe that we will get there.
I believe this bill stays true to the United States Constitution, which gives each state the power to decide how to allocate their electoral votes. And it respects the Electoral College, but also reflects the current realities - that there is a need for a more modern approach.
I vote aye.