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Connecticut Electoral College voters aggravated by outcome

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) --Most of the seven Connecticut voters casting ballots for the Electoral College - all of them Democrats - say it is time to scrap or at least consider changing the system that awarded the presidency to Republican Donald Trump despite Democrat Hillary Clinton's advantage in the popular vote.

On Monday, the electors will gather in state Senate chambers in Hartford to formally vote for Clinton, the winner of Connecticut's statewide vote. Electors in states where Trump won are expected to affirm his victory.

In interviews, Connecticut electors said it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have such a role in the electoral system, but they are aggravated to see the process play out the way it did this year.

Bob Godfrey, of Danbury, an elector and deputy state House speaker, said it is time to get rid of the Electoral College.

"The popular vote is the way to go. This is supposed to be a Democratic republic," he said. "People should know the person who gets the most votes wins the seat, the same as every other elected official in the country."

Ellen Nurse, a Hartford constable, said she sees the Electoral College as a byproduct of the country's slave-owning past and believes it is time for it to be repealed, perhaps through a constitutional amendment.

When the Electoral College was devised in 1787, the founders were worried about one state exercising outsized influence. Small states didn't want states with big populations to dominate, and Southern states with slaves who couldn't vote worried that Northern states would have a stronger voice.

Another elector, state Rep. Christopher Rosario, of Bridgeport, said it's worth looking into having the popular vote decide the winner. But he said Democrats are not looking for changes after winning the presidency in 2008 and 2012.

"We need to pick stronger candidates," he said. "I think what happens is the party becomes top heavy, they don't build up the ranks."

Likewise, Steven Jones, the 26-year-old chair of the Tolland Democratic Town Committee, said he does not see a need for immediate change but a review is warranted.

But Barbara Gordon, 81, of West Hartford, said a change is necessary after an election in which the loser actually won the popular vote by more than 2 million.

"I really do think the total vote of people who bothered to vote needs to be dealt with more," said Gordon, secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee. "Two million votes is a lot of votes and I'm concerned the average person will say 'Why do I have to bother?' That is very bad."

The other two Connecticut electors, Edward Piazza and Tyisha Walker, both of New Haven, could not be reached for comment.

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