Letters to the Editor

Time to abolish Electoral College

To the Editor:

In this country we don’t vote for a president. There is an intermediary called an elector whom we vote for when we vote for a presidential candidate. This might seem like a technicality, but it’s not.

We have to hope this person votes for the candidate to whom he/she has pledged in our behalf, or that an imposter doesn’t somehow replace this person, or that the vice president doesn’t reject him/her for some reason when counting the votes. Our last election showed how tenuous this blind faith might turn out to be. And even if everyone does the right thing, a candidate could still lose despite receiving more votes. This is a weird way to select a leader. No other developed country has this archaic system.

Our Founding Fathers weren’t that keen on letting the common man vote (not to mention women, Blacks or people without property). They were afraid an uninformed ‘rabble’ wouldn’t be able to make good choices if given the vote. They feared the ‘tyranny of the majority.’ So, after months of wrangling, they came up with the Electoral College. We have evolved over the centuries to include women, Blacks and those of any minority and ethnic group in the electorate. But we still don’t vote directly for a president. Consequently, two of the last four presidents got less votes than their opponents. This turns on its head the democratic principle of ‘one person, one vote’.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton got 2.8 million more votes than Trump, but lost the electoral vote. In 2020 Biden won by over 7 million votes. But a change of less than 50,000 votes in swing states states could have swung the election to Trump. This is why Trump fought so hard to change the results, or even the electors, in these states. It had nothing to do with the national popular vote count which he lost bigly. So, we now have the tyranny of the minority thanks to the Electoral College.

According to a Pew Research poll, a majority of Americans continue to support replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote. The Electoral College is written into the Constitution so it might be necessary to amend it. There are several ongoing efforts to eliminate or reform it. And the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact could abolish the Electoral College without an amendment to the Constitution. It may seem like a longshot, but it’s worth pursuing when a majority of Americans support it. It’s precarious to trust our country’s leadership to this absurd anachronism.

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Glenn Duer


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