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Comments about ‘Readers' forum: Electoral College ingenious’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 27 2008 12:44 a.m. MDT

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Agki

You mean like in 2000 and in 2004? Hey, where have you been?

good letter

no controversy here! I luv the Electoral College too. I think the imbalance between States is getting a little out of hand though. It seems crazy that CAlif has like 55 and we have how many in Ut? 7 or 8? And how do you think Wyoming feels?
It's still a way better system than a straight popular vote.

Anonymous

Agki, you drank the kool-aid again this morning.

Grover

My hope for this election would be for McCain to win a huge majority in the popular vote and Obama to take the electoral college in a landslide and this stupid system would go to the dustbin of history with slavery and men only voting, two of the other ideas enshrined in the "inspired" Constitution.

No Fan

In the eighteenth century, the electoral college MAY have been a genius move, however, in the twenty-first century its archaic and completely unnecessary. The Electoral College was created at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Direct popular elections were excluded because it was physically difficult to conduct a popular vote in the 18th century. There was no nominating system, and political parties did not exist in 1787. At the time, only adult white male landowners were eligible to vote. There was a fear that direct popular-vote elections would encourage state governments to allow unsuitable voters in order to maximize the states' influence in presidential politics. The Electoral College was first written into federal law in 1845 to designate citizens who were selected to vote for president and vice president.
Presidential electors are not constitutionally bound to vote for the candidate that carried their States. Ive long been a proponent of eliminating the Electoral College & really make my vote count.


Lionheart

The electoral college is one of the last bricks left in the wall which was built to keep the masses from ruling by majority vote. We are just a few bricks away from bread and circuses.

I'm a believer

I used to be insulted that the Electoral College was in place in case I wasn't "smart enough" to cast my vote right.

But this year, I took greater notice of the junk coming out of the McCain campaign. After realizing that some people actually believe that stuff... ewww... thank God for the Electoral College.

Ultra Bob

I am an American Liberal Democrat, mostly because I believe in the American ideals and aspirations.


I am a Utahan because I live here.

States are simply political divisions of one nation. They have no "rights" other than the rights of the people who live there. All American citizens no matter where they should have equal rights and equal representation in our national government.

Do away with the Electoral College.

GB

No Fan @7:37 - You gave an incomplete description of the electoral college's purpose. If it were just for the logistical reasons you mentioned, each state would have received the number of votes equal to its number of Congressmen in the House of Representatives. But instead, it's House + Senate. So all states get two additional votes due to their statehood. It gives small states a little more say in the game. That would be lost if we abolished the electoral college, which would be a shame because it makes sense for states to get some "credit" for being a state.

I think it would be great to keep the electoral college (so the small states can keep the benefit they currently have) but have each state divide its electoral votes proportionately according to the outcome of the popular election in each state.

Grover

Lionheart: Do you think then that we made a mistake when we began to elect members of the Senate by popular vote as well? The only "circus" around here has been the one for the past eight years!

MEB

@No Fan - In the early years of this country, each state set it's own voting rules. In some states, only White Landowners were allowed to vote. That was far from the case in every state.

That being said, the only reason Democrats want the Electoral College abolished is because it has worked against them in the last two elections. If it were working to their advantage, they would be fighting to keep it. It's a self serving argument, not necessarily what's in the best interest of the country.

Keep the Electoral College. We are the United States of America, and anything that we can do to remind us that we are individual states is healthy for the country.

Lionheart

Yes, I definitely think it was a mistake when we started electing Senators by popular vote. We lost resprentatives focused exclusively on the interests pertinent to unique states. Why have another two Congressmen essentially with the same constituency of the the other House? The Senate professes to be more deliberative, but it is a difference without a distinction. The blending of the branches of government are becoming blurred. No checks and balances.

Roland Kayser

The election of 2000 was the first one in well over 100 years in which the winner of the popular vote did not also win the electoral college. Changing it probably won't change election results very often.

wrz


No Fan | 7:37 a.m.:

"Direct popular elections were excluded because it was physically difficult to conduct a popular vote in the 18th century."

Conducting a popular vote may well be physically difficult again. Or impossible. Computers don't always work. Eventually we will vote via home computers. Then watch hackers change election results.

"At the time, only adult white male landowners were eligible to vote."

That's the way it should be now. Soon illegal immigrants will be voting to elect our president... Eventually, the whole world will get a vote. Some of the world's influence is being felt as we speak. Muslims and terrorists, for example, are encouraging voters to choose Osama.

wrz

Ultra Bob | 10:12 a.m.: "States are simply political divisions of one nation. They have no "rights" other than the rights of the people who live there."

Wrong. "The powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution... are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Article X

2 bits

I agree completely.

Why not just count the votes?

Anyone who survived the Democrats and their lawyers trying anything they could come up with to get a few more votes in select discricts in Florida know why we don't just go off the "popular vote".

The 'Pregnant Chad', debates, the law suits, the numrous re-counts of targeted disctricts, the "Old people and black people can't understand the ballot", complaints and all the rest of the shenanagans that was going on. Can you imagine if all they had to do was find a few questionable ballots or one person who didn't know what they were doing in the whole USA and they could possibly overturn the election???

Can you imagine the wrangling that would be going on if all the Democrats had to do was twist a few thousand votes, or have a few thousand thrown out on technicalities???

And regardless of it being unconstitutional... You WANT this system? What are you thinking?

The Constititution

It looks like the writer of this letter and Mr. Evensen from the DesNews staff find little agreement in the comments. Since the election of 2000 was mentioned, think of what would have happened if the Florida voting had not been dealt with, and the entire state recounted. Then what would have happened if that did not resolve the situation? Perhaps the state could have re-voted. What would happen in the a general election that only differed by a few thousand votes? Would the entire nation be re-counted? As the writer says this would be electoral chaos. What sort of government would come out of this? We have no idea.

The comments above show little understanding of our Constitutional Government. In order to delete the Electoral College, it would require a Constitutional Amendment. In order to ratify an amendment three fourths of the state legislatures have to agree.

Of course this will never happen in the lifetime of anyone old enough to read this, unless our government and the Constitution are dissolved. If this were to happen generations far into the future would suffer, and chaos would reign. Only the anarchists would be happy.

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