Letter: Electoral College

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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 25, 2019 7:55 a.m.

    An even better sports metaphor. The 1960 World Series between the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates and the heavily favored New York Yankees.

    The Yankees scored 55 runs to 27 for the Pirates in that World Series. Yet the Yankees lost the series to the Pirates 3 games to 4.

    Due to the differential in runs scored, the Yankees should have won the series based on just the score alone, but they didn't.

    Trump winning the Electoral vote while losing the popular vote is akin to Mazeroski hitting the game winning home run in the 9th inning that won game 7 and the series for the Pirates.

    Oh by the way, Vern Law should have been the MVP of the Series, not Bobby Richardson.

  • Fred33 KAYSVILLE, UT
    April 24, 2019 10:25 p.m.

    I support keeping the electoral college.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 24, 2019 8:50 p.m.

    It is time to quit deifying the Founding Fathers and looking at the Constitution as infallible. In fact, it is time to stop looking at the Founding Fathers as a group that engaged in monolithic thinking.

    First of all, the Constitution counted slaves as three-fifths of a person but didn't give them any rights or citizenship.

    Women could not vote.

    Slavery was preserved. This issue and the federal vs. state thing power thing nearly ended our country.

    Well guess what, the one genius aspect of the Constitution was its flexibility. It isn't easy to change things in the Constitution, but it is possible.

    It is arguable with two of the last five elections where the popular vote didn't yield the winner in the electoral college that the system might need to be tweaked or perhaps abolished. This type of result should be a rare thing, not something with 40% frequency (2 out of the last 5). When it happened in the 1800's (1824 and 1876), it wasn't exactly good for our country. If we keep having the elections like in 2000 and 2016, people will lose faith in the system itself. We may be there already.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2019 5:08 p.m.

    Mike Richards, I think you might be confusing two of our early documents. One of them begins, "To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting." The other one starts out, "We the people of the United States." The first governed the country for 10 years and was replaced by the second. The first, among other things, had no provision for a president. Your division of the role of Senate, House, and President is cute, but non-factual. Only one (actually 2 since the fiasco of Jefferson and Burr) offices are elected on a national basis. The process was substantively changed over time by state legislatures mandating winner-take-all assignment of EC votes.
    Additional evidence of national rather than parochial citizenship can be found in a passport. I don't know how yours reads, but mine says United States of America on the cover, not Utah.
    As citizens of the United States we should vote equally for President. If we took a national total, it wouldn't matter where we lived, each would get one vote. Your vote in Utah would be just a important as one in New York, California or Wyoming.

  • Wyo_Jake Casper, WY
    April 24, 2019 1:19 p.m.

    The states with the greatest populations should govern the rest of us. That is only right because the smartest of us prefer to live in the most highly populated locations.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    April 24, 2019 10:36 a.m.

    "Along those same lines, make the Electoral College even simpler.

    Win a state, get 1 point. With Wash. DC, that brings to a possible 51 votes and no tie."

    Actually that's what would happen if no one won a majority in the EC (270). The race gets thrown to the House of Representatives, but each state only gets one vote.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 24, 2019 8:39 a.m.

    In addition, James Madison who is considered to be the "Father of the Constitution" was originally in favor of proportional representation in both houses of Congress. Meaning the "big states" (population wise) would have the most representatives in each house. The big states would control the agenda to support their own interests. That was part of the original Virginia Plan. Madison thought it fair to have proportional representation.

    Good for us that the other states didn't see it that way and made Madison compromise on the Senate. Each state is represented by the same number of Senators. That was supposed to keep things honest and has largely done so. It gave a small state like Utah a lot of pull over the years with Senators like William King, Reed Smoot, Ted Moss, Jake Garn, Wallace Bennett and of course Orrin Hatch.

    The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing, and in doing so, made the Constitution hard to change.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 24, 2019 8:19 a.m.

    The writers premise is entirely wrong. Kalifornia has 55 Electoral votes. North Dakota has 3.

    Kalifornia represents over 20% of the Electoral votes needed to win the 270. North Dakota represents just over .01%. Seems like winning Kalifornia gives a presidential candidate a way better chance of winning the 270 than North Dakota does.

    I think our Founding Fathers made the right choice when they enshrined the Electoral College into the Constitution. Their wisdom and foresight benefit us all.

    I personally don't want Kalifornia and New York's votes overriding Utah's votes for President. Were the Electoral College done away with, by Constitutional Amendment by the way, Utah would totally lose their voice in such elections. Our vote would truly not count.

    I can't wait until a Democrat candidate wins the Electoral vote without winning the Popular vote. They will be crowing how great the Electoral College is and why we should keep it at that point.

    True Democracy is nothing more than mob rule and never, in the long run works out for the good.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2019 8:02 a.m.

    @No One "There are a lot of elected officials who affect our individual lives much more directly that the US President, ..."

    Baloney.

  • Mata Leao Ogden, UT
    April 24, 2019 6:46 a.m.

    @Observator,
    Not a basketball fan, but I like the analogy.
    Along those same lines, make the Electoral College even simpler.

    Win a state, get 1 point. With Wash. DC, that brings to a possible 51 votes and no tie.

    Trump won 30 games to 21 (counting D.C. for HC), even though HC scored more baskets.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 10:35 p.m.

    @Frozen Fractals: "The saying is usually that we tend to export democracy around the world. We don't export the electoral college around the world."

    What many nations considering a "democratic" voting system do is follow the English Parliamentary system. The voters get to choose a bunch of Members of Parliament (MP) who select the Prime Minister from among themselves, based on which party has the most seats. So it's more like we imported the Electoral College than exported it. In our version though, the States select the President instead of the Congress. It seems a bit of an improvement.

    There are a lot of elected officials who affect our individual lives much more directly that the US President, starting from local school board members, sheriffs, city and county council members and on up to our US Senators and Representatives. And we should not forget that the most powerful people in the country are the local and national political party officials who have so much influence over who gets on the ballot in the first place. Way too much fuss and bother goes on about who is President and how she/he gets selected.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 23, 2019 9:44 p.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass: "The EC is a right wing power grab, nothing more."

    A right wing power grab set up more than 200 years ago? That is amazing foresight.

    The electoral college is part of what was necessary to get the small States to join a union with larger States. How soon before you attack the US Senate for giving smaller States equal voice with the larger?

    @Frozen Fractals: "It's not California deciding the election with a popular vote, it's everyone, 1 person 1 vote."

    And so do you also oppose the US Senate? Should we have proportional representation in that chamber? Or simply eliminate it in favor of a single House representing the people?

    Propose an amendment to eliminate the electoral college and watch 35 non-coastal States reject it immediately.

    If it is 1 person, 1 vote, then marriage should be 1 man 1 woman in at least the 31 States (including Cali) whose citizens overwhelmingly voted that way. Elective abortion should have far more limitations in about 25 to 30 States that want to protect the unborn.

    If you want pure democracy, you've got to accept the good with the bad. It is dishonest to support democracy only selectively, when you like the results.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 23, 2019 9:04 p.m.

    @husker: What? When the electoral college was implemented it wasn't a left wing conspiracy. Not at all.
    It's been nearly two generations since a republican won the White House with a majority vote. The GOP knows they would likely only win with a majority vote once every few generations. The EC is a right wing power grab, nothing more.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 23, 2019 8:02 p.m.

    Not even a noteworthy football team? What kind of college is that?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 23, 2019 7:41 p.m.

    @ Reasonable Mormon

    "Why not:

    1. Fix Gerrymandering (taking the power away from partisan state legislatures no matter what side of the proverbial aisle they are on)

    2. Follow the example of Nebraska and...Maine (?) I think, that takes into account the proportional vote and allocates its electoral votes accordingly, and not in a winner-take-all fashion.

    Let's do those two things and reassess the fairness factor."

    I'm for this. POTUS is the only office we vote on that represents every one of us. Let everyone's voices be heard. If 54% of Texas goes R and the rest D, then the electoral votes should be apportioned accordingly. I bet the folks in downstate Illinois would be grateful. Due to Chicago, their voices haven't been heard in a presidential election in...ever?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 7:22 p.m.

    We elect Senators and Governors using the popular vote of the state. We elect representatives using the popular vote.

    We even used to have Senators chosen differently so it's not like things are the same as they have always been.

    The saying is usually that we tend to export democracy around the world. We don't export the electoral college around the world.

    It's not California deciding the election with a popular vote, it's everyone, 1 person 1 vote.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 23, 2019 6:06 p.m.

    Well, according to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 68, The electoral college was to ensure:

    "...that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice."

    Strike one.

    "...to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder."

    Strike two.

    "...a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."

    Strike three.

    Oh, and then there's that Three-Fifths Compromise needed to get the slave states sign up for the constitution.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 23, 2019 4:32 p.m.

    The EC was designed to keep large states from dominating small states, and it is doing just that. If those in urban areas want the advantages of living in North Dakota, they are welcome to move there.

    Kent
    Voter suppression, like blank panthers intimidating white voters in Philly in 2010? and eric holder ignoring it. Is that what you mean?

    Unrepent
    Compromise with a liberal means giving up 99.9% for the promise of receiving 0.1%, then not getting it.

    Ernest
    Take away gerrymandering and the MSM and democrats would be without power. They can't win without cheating the system.

    There, I fixed it for you

    SAS
    In 1859 2+2 = 4. Since that was 160 years ago, does that mean math changed? When did Adam Smith write the Wealth of Nations? Some principles have passed the test of time

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2019 4:06 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards:

    The people of 1859 sent a telegram. They would like their political theory back.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 4:00 p.m.

    I'm more concerned about the power of two political parties over our government than about the Electoral College. If the Democrats are upset about our current President they should be asking the Democratic party leadership why they gave us Hillary Clinton as a candidate when she only won the vote at the convention by using "super delegates". If Republicans are unhappy with our current President they should ask their party why they didn't get behind a "more suitable" candidate.

    Instead of abolishing the Electoral College we should be talking about returning selection of Senators to the State Legislatures where it belongs.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2019 3:01 p.m.

    Kent C.
    When a candidate can lose the popular vote by almost 3 million and still win, something is wrong with the system.

    And when Hillary Clinton loses just short of 9 million (Non Voters) there is something wrong with the system.

    According to the statistics, 112 million registered voters did not vote for the President... So does that mean "Non of the Above" won?

    That is another reason for the electoral college, it balances out the non voters.

  • Alter Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 23, 2019 2:16 p.m.

    @Kent C. DeForrest "When a candidate can lose the popular vote by almost 3 million and still win, something is wrong with the system."

    No, it shows that the system is doing exactly what it was designed to do -- helping to equalize power between the states.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:57 p.m.

    The Electoral College is neither antiquated nor a quirck. It is a deliberate anti-democratic mechanism that protects minority interests. It is as legit as the bicameral congress and the makeup of the US Senate. It is as essential as the anti-democratic judicial branch.

    Those who celebrate the courts creating the nationwide right to elective abortion and to same-gender marriage (despite 31 States--100% that voted on the issue--defining marriage in their State consitutions as man-woman), cannot with any honesty take offense with a small bit of anti-democratic function occassionally preventing a few coastal cities from electing the President contrary to the concerns of the vast number of other States.

    Mass communications have no more to do with the Electoral College than they do with the courts. Pure democracy run roughshod over minority rights. Urban liberals not only know nothing of rural conservative concerns, but far too often hold all things rural in utter disdain and contempt. Atheists hate men of faith. The races don't always get along.

    To protect minority rights requires anti-democratic mechanisms including the US Senate, the courts, and the Electoral College.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:48 p.m.

    continued...

    MacMama - Sandy, UT

    " Get rid of the Electoral College, stack the Supreme Court- what would be next?"

    Yes, that is what Republicans are doing, stacking the Supreme Court with at least 2 people that have committed sexual assaults and harassment. Thomas and Kavanaugh.

    "I am opposed that having this country run by Los Angeles and New York. The signers of the Constitution knew what they were doing- we need to stick to the way it was written."

    Yes, heaven forbid that someone be elected by the majority that would be downright Democratic!

    One Founding-era argument for the Electoral College stemmed from the fact that ordinary Americans across a vast continent would lack sufficient information to choose directly and intelligently among leading presidential candidates.

    Mike Richards - South Jordan, UT

    "The President of the United States is not the President of the People. He represents the States to the nations of the world."

    Trump represents himself and the wealthy only.

    "At no time does he serve as the President of the People."

    That is probably the truest statement you've ever made.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:45 p.m.

    DontTR3@DonM3 - Tooele, UT
    "The Electoral College was created so that the individual states would have a process for electing the President."

    trekker - Salt Lake, UT
    "The founding fathers put the electoral college in place for a reason. We should strive to keep our republic the way they set it up."

    OK guys, the electoral college was created because there was no mass communications back then. It took time to count votes and get the results to DC. It was done to expedite the election.

    One Founding-era argument for the Electoral College stemmed from the fact that ordinary Americans across a vast continent would lack sufficient information to choose directly and intelligently among leading presidential candidates.

    This objection rang true in the 1780s, when life was far more local. But the early emergence of national presidential parties rendered the objection obsolete by linking presidential candidates to slates of local candidates and national platforms

    continued...

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:36 p.m.

    @unrepentant progressive:

    I would make a bargain with Liberals. Within the limits of the constitution, run your States as you see fitm leave conservatives free to run ours. Let's all condemn judicial activism. The constitution and laws mean what they were intended to mean when drafted and adopted. If and when changes are appropriate, congress and legislatures will make changes via legislation or via ConAmd. No more legislating from the bench.

    Liberal States can have all manner of welfare including socialized medicine if you want it. You can impose whatever environmental controls you like. You can use State tax monies to fund abortions. Define marriage as you see fit. Ban discrimination. But you must respect the 2nd amd and my rights not to promote events that offend me.

    Conservative States get free markets. We impose limits on elective abortion respecting the life and health of the mother. We define marriage as we see fit. We don't get to create a state sponsored religion, outlaw offensive magazines (1st amd), nor outlaw private conduct between consenting adults.

    This is called federalism. It is what the constitution requires. Abide it, and we can discuss "compromise".

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    April 23, 2019 1:35 p.m.

    Because of current state-by-state statewide winner-take-all laws for Electoral College votes, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution . . .

    Almost all small and medium-sized states and almost all western, southern, and northeastern states are totally ignored.

    Our presidential selection system has cut out 4 of every 5 people living in America from the decision. Presidential elections shrink the “sphere” of public debate to only a few thousand swing voters in a few states.

    Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    With the end of the primaries, without the National Popular Vote bill in effect, the political relevance of 70% of all Americans was finished for the presidential election.

  • Husker2 , 00
    April 23, 2019 1:34 p.m.

    @Ernest "Take away gerrymandering and the electoral college and the republicans would be without power. They can't win without cheating the system."

    The electoral college is the system, so it's the Left that is trying to change or cheat the system. The Left wants a popular vote and they don't want people to have to prove citizenship when voting. It's obvious why they want these changes.

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    April 23, 2019 1:33 p.m.

    The National Popular Vote bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections.

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    April 23, 2019 1:31 p.m.

    National Popular Vote has NOTHING to do with gerrymandering.
    Every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter equally in the state counts and national count.

  • DontTR3@DonM3 Tooele, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:14 p.m.

    Ernest T Bass, Kent C DeForrest,

    Your comments have spoken a lot toward gerrymandering, so I have a question.

    Please describe how one gerrymanders a presidential election?

    The only thing I see doing the gerrymandering is the NPV, from a presidential election perspective.

  • Dart Thrower Ogden, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:08 p.m.

    Aren't we all just citizens of the United States? Does the President represent individual states or individuals? If it is individuals, then he/she should be elected by individuals. The Electoral College is a quirk in the constitution that needs to be abandoned to drive stronger democracy.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 23, 2019 1:05 p.m.

    Take away gerrymandering and the electoral college and the republicans would be without power. They can't win without cheating the system.

  • DontTR3@DonM3 Tooele, UT
    April 23, 2019 11:47 a.m.

    The Electoral College was created so that the individual states would have a process for electing the President. Our presidential elections were never meant to be one vote across the entire country, but 50 individual state elections for president. This is why the Electoral College makes sense, and why the National Popular Vote is a sham.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    April 23, 2019 11:45 a.m.

    In 2013, the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals 4 games to 3. However, if you add up all the points in all the games, the San Antonio Spurs scored 684 points to 679 points for the Heat. Why then did Miami win the series when the Spurs scored the most points?

    The answer is that it doesn't matter how many points you score, it's how many games you win. Likewise, we do not have a national election for president, we have 51 state elections for president. What matters is how many of those elections you win, not how many votes you score, subject to a weighting factor for each election based on the states' populations.

    A national election for president would allow a candidate to large swaths of the country in favor of racking up votes in just urban areas. A candidate who can win the top 10 most urban areas of the country (84.3 million people in 2017, spanning only 16 states) with
    >70% of the vote can completely ignore the rest of us.

    If we think otherwise, then why doesn't the NBA have the Finals winner just be the team who racks up the most points over seven games? Same logic applies...

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    April 23, 2019 11:26 a.m.

    I would make a bargain with Conservatives.

    Keep the antiquated notion of the Electoral College. Keep it.

    But, give the majority of us the right to be represented properly in Congress. No gerrymandering! And make voting accessible to all those who have the franchise.

    It's called compromise, but Conservatives don't like it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, UT
    April 23, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    Those who just can't understand that we are NOT a democracy are turning themselves inside out to explain why the President of the STATES is not elected directly by the people.

    The President of the United States is not the President of the People. He represents the States to the nations of the world. With Senate approval, he makes treaties with other nations. At no time does he serve as the President of the People. The People are represented by the House. The States are represented individually by the Senate and collectively to the world by the President.

    Each STATE decides which candidate it wants to have as its representative to the world. Each STATE is allowed to have representation in the electoral college equal to the total number of members that it is allowed to have in Congress. The interests of the States, collectively, are forwarded to the world by the President of the States.

    It's a simple concept, but it is beyond the grasp of those who want another form of government.

  • Reasonable Mormon Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2019 10:43 a.m.

    Why not:

    1. Fix Gerrymandering (taking the power away from partisan state legislatures no matter what side of the proverbial aisle they are on)

    2. Follow the example of Nebraska and...Maine (?) I think, that takes into account the proportional vote and allocates its electoral votes accordingly, and not in a winner-take-all fashion.

    Let's do those two things and reassess the fairness factor.

  • MacMama Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2019 10:16 a.m.

    In other words, if you can’t win playing by the rules that have been on place for 232 years (since the Constitution was signed in 1787), then you obviously need to change the rules- right? Get rid of the Electoral College, stack the Supreme Court- what would be next?
    Harry Reid tried that in the Senate- changing rules of debate and number of votes to confirm a candidate. It has totally backfired on the Democrats.
    I am opposed that having this country run by Los Angeles and New York. The signers of the Constitution knew what they were doing- we need to stick to the way it was written

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 23, 2019 10:02 a.m.

    When a candidate can lose the popular vote by almost 3 million and still win, something is wrong with the system. The bigger problems, though, are gerrymandering and voter suppression, which benefit the minority party in America, a party that claims only about 1/4 of American voters.

  • Mata Leao Ogden, UT
    April 23, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    What is worse than a few smaller states holding more power is a few large cities holding ALL of the power. Take out the Los Angeles vote and we have a very different popular vote count. Heck, just slit the LA vote.
    Conservatives don't want LA deciding the fate of the country any more than liberals want Utah deciding their fate.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    April 23, 2019 9:28 a.m.

    This letter is just a big pile of circular logic, that boils down to support for the idea of california deciding our presidential elections.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    April 23, 2019 9:24 a.m.

    The founding fathers put the electoral college in place for a reason. We should strive to keep our republic the way they set it up.