Sunday, December 16, 2012

Is The Electoral College Ready For The Scrapheap?

Whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney won the last election does not relate to this inquiry as to whether we should change the Electoral College as a means of determining the winner of the presidential election.

We have 50 states in our union, so why should only 10 states be in play and the other 40 neglected by the candidates? Is it fair to all our citizens to be ignored or not appealed to in trying to get their vote for the very important position of President of the United States?

Originally, the Electoral College was put in our constitution because of concerns of the smaller states, rightfully or wrongfully, that the larger states would control the election of the president.

A change was initiated in 1969 to abolish the Electoral College and it passed in the House, but it got only 55 votes in the Senate which was 12 votes shy of the 2/3 of the votes needed for passage. The proposal, therefore, died in 1970 as it could not generate the 67 votes needed for passage. Even if it passed the Congress it would’ve needed 38 states to ratify it, and according to a N.Y. Times survey of states, at the time, only 30 states were for it, 6 states were unsure, 6 states were leaning opposed, and 8 states were solidly opposed.

Today, with all the modern polling techniques refined down to the last voter, the campaigns can figure out what states are in play for their candidate and which states are not. With that in mind, some states, who overwhelmingly favor one party over the other, are ignored by the non-preferred party candidate as being a waste of time, effort, and financial resources.

States like California, New York, and Massachusetts etc., which are overwhelmingly Democratic are ignored by the Republicans because they don’t feel they have a chance of winning those electors, but also the Democrats won’t campaign to any great extent because they have those electors already sewed up. The same is true for the Republicans who can count on states like Texas, Alabama, Georgia etc. who are overwhelmingly Republican.

I’m sure there were many voters in the 40 non-swing states, that didn’t get much play from the candidates, who didn’t vote because their votes, in their minds, weren’t meaningful in determining the electors in their states.

I feel that if we use the popular vote total from all 50 states, we would get more voters out on election day (only about 50% of registered voters actually vote today) as they would feel that their votes actually counted in choosing the president.

At the time the Electoral College was proposed and implemented, there was a genuine fear that the most populous states would control the election of the president, but today, with our population spread out across the land from ocean to ocean, it seems that the fairest election would be the candidate who got the most votes, and the candidates wouldn’t just be interested in the so-called “swing states”. I’m sure, some of the outrageous campaign spending by both parties, would be spread out among the rest of the states and not just spent in the “swing states”.

It’s worth a consideration, don’t you think?

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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1 comment:

Carol Rave said...

How come Romney won approx. 60% of the counties in Pennsylvania, but still lost the total vote? Also, isn't it amazing that in 59 precincts in Pennsylvania, Romney recived zero votes? Do you mean to tell me that in those precincts, nary a one of those "rocket scientist" voters made a mistake and voted for Romney, even by mistake? Something smells rotten in Denmark, or is it Pennsylvania?