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Comments about ‘Letter: Electoral College is needed to help small states be as important as larger states’

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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Right now they're only campaigning in nine states. The other states, large or small, are irrelevant.

I have a prediction though: If Romney wins the popular vote while losing the electoral college, everyone will reverse their position on the issue.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

I'm dense, so maybe that's why I'm not following your reasoning here. What on earth makes you think that everyone in those 10 states is going to vote for the same candidate?

Since electoral votes are apportioned according to a state's number of congressmen (itself a rough measure of a state's population), your argument makes little sense. The small states still have very little voice. Why do you think they're obsessed with Ohio? A swing state with a large number of electoral votes. And anyone voting against popular opinion in a state like Utah or California is essentially chucking their vote in the dumpster. I'd frankly like to see the electoral college go away.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Not really sure that you made a good case.

Electorally, if a candidate wins the states you mention, they have a virtual lock anyway. (256 of the 270 electoral votes needed)

And in those states, with a total population of 167 mil (your numbers) you could lock up all of those electoral college votes with under 70 million votes.

So, the EC does not change your concern that a candidate can campaign in only 10 states.

The way for a state to be "relevant" is to be fairly evenly split so that candidates need your vote. Utah is irrelevant in any presidential election (as are many other states), except for the money donated to the national campaign.

There is a very real possibility this year that Obama wins the presidency and loses the popular vote. That will send the right into a froth.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

For all practical purposes, the candidates are already campaigning in less than 10 states. But we should be grateful that we are not among the competitive battleground states, and don't have to endure the barrage of campaign ads that inundate Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, etc. It's bad enough here already. Thank goodness it will be over in a week.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Utah does get more voice as a result of the electoral college than it would get otherwise. In my mind this is good enough reason to keep it.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

Whatever happened to the idea of one man one vote?

"The total population of these states equals 166,755,220 which is above the requisite 51 percent needed.

A candidate would only have to campaign in these 10 states and they'd have won the election. That is the genius behind our system."

This argument only works if every person in each of these 10 states voted for the same person. Traditionally California and Texas have very different political views.

Contrast this with today where only a handful of states are evening being campaigned...the "Battle ground" States.

I would like very much for my vote to count as much as a vote in Ohio, but when 70% of the State votes one way, does it really matter for whom I voted, be it Romney, Obama or my next door neighbor since the entire State will be counted as "Romney"?? Under the popular vote it would matter.

isrred
South Jordan, UT

Actually, the small states matter very little in the current system. I voted for Obama, but could you imagine how much more the votes for Mitt Romney in Utah would matter if we were on a popular vote system? Romney is going to win Utah so whether he wins by 1 vote or 1million votes the payoff is still the same. If it was a popular vote election they would have the incentive to get EVERY single vote they possibly could from places like Utah.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

According to the federalist papers, the purpose of the electoral college isn't to "give the small states a chance." The purpose is to allow a small group of wise leaders to choose the president, because the judgment of the population as a whole can't be trusted to choose the right guy.

John Marx
Layton, UT

"A candidate would only have to campaign in these 10 states and they'd have won the election." As has already been pointed out, the candidates are only campaigning in a handful of states already as a result of the electoral college. It's completely arbitrary. It's just states whose populations happen to be divided about 50/50 between democrats and republicans. These states who happen to be swing states have undue influence over the country's politics. They don't deserve the influence because of a demographic quirk.
How does the electoral college help a small state like Utah? They know which way we're going to vote. Spending any time here is a complete waste. If it were a popular vote, at least they could come here in the hopes that they could pick up a few votes.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I have been a long time supporter of the electoral college because of the small state vs large state idea. At one time that was a great idea.

But times have changed and I support getting rid of the electoral college. At this point in time, a voter in Ohio has way more clout than a voter in Texas or Utah. If we get rid of the electoral college, then the candidates have to campaign to everyone. They won't saturate Ohio voters and they can't pander to groups like seniors in Florida. They have to go out to everyone.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@a bit of reality

"According to the federalist papers, the purpose of the electoral college isn't to "give the small states a chance." The purpose is to allow a small group of wise leaders to choose the president, because the judgment of the population as a whole can't be trusted to choose the right guy."

===============
Absolutely! However with nearly every State (if not every state) having laws that guarantee their electors to the winner of the State, its purpose has been defeated.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Each STATE chooses the person that that STATE wants as its representative to the world. We, the people, are represented, not by the President, but by our Representatives in the House. Senators represent the State in Congress.

We don't elect the President by popular vote because the President does not represent the people directly.

When people don't understand the fundamental operation of government, they demand from government things that government is prohibited from giving. One of those things is representation by the President.

His duty is to protect our country against enemies, foreign and domestic. We benefit indirectly from that protection. Our city police departments, not the Presdient, are charged with protecting the people.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Mike,

I suspect that if Obama wins the presidency and Romney wins the popular vote, you and Rifleman will be the first to scream that we need to do away with the Electoral College.

Just a hunch.

one old man
Ogden, UT

It MIGHT help if each state was required to divide its electoral votes according to the percentages of its popular vote. Some states do that. Most RED states do not.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Why does anyone care if States are equal? People need to be equal. And for the record, the relevancy of the system has been an issue since well before 2000. I remember discussing it in high school civics - in 1971.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

More to the point, getting rid of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. The Constitution is very hard to amend. And there are more than 12 small states. Which means, there will never be a change to the Electoral College.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

While I can appreciate the intent of the letter --
[because I live in a Totalitarian state, and my vote NEVER matters]

I watched Al Gore clearly win the popular vote, and GWBush win the Electoral by a hanging chad.
And then watched from the side-lines in horror as Bush/Cheney spent the next 8 years trashing America.

Agreed --
The GOP right-winger will go ballistic if/when Karma comes around this time.

Like I said 12 years ago -
Becare for what you wish for, you just might get it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@JoeBlow,

I do not stomp on the Constitution. The Constitution lists the way that a President is elected. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. If enough electors choose Obama, then God help us; but, the law is the law.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Contrary to the wishes of the conservative element, we live in today’s world and not in the world of 200 years ago. Our lives, our world is different today than the world of 200 years ago. All the foot-dragging, fairy tales, phony patriotism and ignorance will not change the fact.

We are all Americans and every American citizen is closer and more aware of the national government than were the citizens of the various states to their state government 200 years ago.

In today’s world, state governments are obsolete. There is nothing that the state government does for citizens that could not be done better and cheaper by the national government. And because the state governments are generally owned and controlled by private interests the services provided are tainted against the citizens. The main reason that government costs so much is that we have too many governments.

The state representatives do not represent the people. The only chance for representation of people in the national is with the election of the president. The president should be elected by popular vote of all the American people.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"Whatever happened to the idea of one man one vote?

Simple, it never was part of our nation. We don't live in a Democracy but a Compound Constitutional Republic. That means, that elections are not dependent upon individual votes.

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