Electoral College has got to go
Jan 10, 2013 | 1635 views | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Now that the presidential race has been decided, we should re-examine the way that this particular contest is conducted in our country.

The Electoral College system that we use is clearly out of date and not equitable to all Americans. This system may have been appropriate in our nation’s early days, but now, and for the future, it is an unfair system that should be changed.

California is our largest state, population wise, with approximately 38 million people and 55 electoral votes. That means that there are about 690,000 people per elector in that state.

In Wyoming, our least populated state, there are about 580,000 people and 3 electoral votes. That means that there are about 193,000 people per elector. The other 48 states and D.C. have varying numbers of residents per electoral vote in between the two extremes for California and Wyoming.

What this means is that this system is not balanced and the votes of people living in lower populated states carries more weight than those residents in larger populated states.

The best way to get around this problem, in my opinion, is to have a direct election for president. This way, all Americans would be treated equally in the election process and it would encourage presidential candidates to visit all states and to discuss all issues including regional issues in all parts of our country.

No longer would we have the eight or nine so-called “battleground states” that the candidates were vying for in the presidential race in 2012 and in previous races. No longer would candidate and media attention just be focused on those swing states with the rest of the country written off and ignored.

It should also boost voter participation in all states, because now, with direct election, every vote would truly count.

Sincerely,

Henry Euler

Bayside

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totototo
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January 10, 2013
A survey of New York voters showed 79% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By gender, support was 89% among women and 69% among men.

By age, support was 60% among 18-29 year olds, 74% among 30-45 year olds, 85% among 46-65 year olds, and 82% for those older than 65.

Support was 86% among Democrats, 66% among Republicans, 78% among Independence Party members (representing 8% of respondents), 50% among Conservative Party members (representing 3% of respondents), 100% among Working Families Party members (representing 2% of respondents), and 7% among Others (representing 7% of respondents).

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states, like New York, that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.



When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.



The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.



In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The New York Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill in 2010 and 2011.



The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.



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