Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The Electoral College should not be abolished. If it were, a few states, namely “Blue” ones would predominate in a presidential election and the rest of the country would suffer for lack of representation, and votes would be overshadowed and nullified.
In the spirit of the Constitution, the winner of the Electoral College takes office as president. The founders wanted electors who came directly from the people rather than through a one party legislature or a permanent group or body that could be influenced by individuals, foreign states and special interests.
The Electoral College guards against those states and areas within a state that have more concentrated areas of population from running away with an election through mob rule. Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, explained that the Electoral College helps to ensure that America is not ruled from “a bunch of blue capitals, nor from a bunch of red ones.”
If the Electoral College did not exist and a president were directly elected trough a popular vote, elections would be dominated by heavily populated regions of the country or by a few large cities and that is why the founding fathers molded a republic rather than a pure democracy. They realized that government was through the consent of the governed, but they also knew that complete authorization of runaway democracy should not be allowed to come to simple majority or plurality rule.
The only alterations or changes that could occur with the Electoral College would be if population centers expanded within a state and there were a need of additional representation and assignment of added Electoral College numbers to a state.
The Electoral College should remain the same for the pure purpose that the founding fathers knew what they were doing when they established it. They realized that the College would guard against the domination of densely populated areas over the rest of the country.
As Federalist Papers author and founding father Alexander Hamilton explained, “An election was to take place among all the states, so no corruption in any state could taint the great body of the people in their selection.” Final election choices were to be made by a majority of the Electoral College electors, who were neither federal office holders, nor under obligation or in debt to any presidential candidate. Favoritism was not to be intermingled or allowed in the process.
Those upset by the 2016 election results want to grasp at straws through disparaging, maneuvering and dismantling the Electoral College. If they are so determined to change the current results, and future election results, they will have to do so by amending the Constitution.
If their agenda develops and becomes a reality, America will once again be subjected to even more distancing from a two hundred years plus establishment of a constitutional republic. If those disgruntled and dejected other party members ever gain common sense and admit that they lost, they’ll realize that the founders knew best. The Electoral College needs to remain a firm institution in determining election outcomes.
Owatonna, MN Correspondent-With the Presidential election results barely a week old, Hilary Clinton has become the fifth candidate to win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College (EC) vote, and thereby lose the election. Many are clamoring to abolish the EC, mostly Democrats, which is logical since they claim to be victims of the system. The most notable advocate of abolishing the EC is Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who has proposed a Constitutional Amendment to eliminate the EC and establish a purely popular vote to determine the winner in a presidential race.
The main reason for keeping some sort of EC is to prevent a trend toward pure democratic voting on the national level. Representation in Congress was set up intentionally to prevent high-population states from controlling national elections and therefore controlling small-population states. The federal government was created to serve “the several states,” not the other way around. Each state is endowed with its own autonomy subject to an overlayment of federal laws but is free to govern itself in most aspects. Senators exist to temper the relative impulsiveness of the House of Representatives. The differences in each state are what makes our country unique in the world.
Abolishing the EC would enable the largest states to gain undue influence over presidential elections and leave the smallest states with very little voice in who gets elected. This could lead to pure democracy. In its worst incarnation, pure democracy enables mob rule since fifty percent of voters plus one could dictate any laws they want to control the minority voters in any election.
Conversely, the smaller states currently enjoy an oversized impact on the elections when looked at from the perspective of the number of votes controlled by each elector. For example, Wyoming’s three electors are chosen by less than one-third the number of voters compared with the number of voters who choose electors in states like California and Texas. This at least prevents mob rule, but doesn’t seem equitable and leans too far in the other direction.
A compromise solution could be to award electors to a candidate directly based on voting in each congressional district. The winner in each district gains that district’s electoral vote. No more “winner take all” state results. The remaining two electoral votes per state (the Senator equivalents) could be awarded to the candidate who tallies the most popular votes statewide. This allows the popular vote to have more weight but still allows smaller states a fair say in who wins the presidency.
If this current uproar over the EC results in a change of election laws, that change should be made slowly, deliberately, and preferably through a Constitutional amendment, so political persuasion, fads, or the most vocal protesters don’t dominate the discussion and lead to a less politically functional method of electing a president. The United States is unique in the world. It is a democratic society but was never intended to be a pure, “one person, one vote” system for passing laws and electing leaders. The U.S. is a representative republic, and we ignore that fact, dismantle that fact, or corrupt that fact at our own peril as a nation.