A Remedy By Rose

I’m back. Now I can explain my absence. (I’m probably overly security conscious). I’ve spent a good part of June traveling during which I visited several longtime friends, including Rose, more about that below, (and I made a few new ones).

One of the problems most honest Americans have with our political system is the Electoral College. It is no coincidence that many nations have imitated our Constitution when designing theirs but sans an Electoral College. The institution was a necessity in the formative days of our country as well as one of the many compromises necessary to get the United States of America off the ground. In one of several late-night conversations my friend Rose gave me the basis of this solution.

I have long been an advocate of simply dumping the Electoral College in favor of a simple system where the highest voter getter wins. That is the way we run every other election (aside from those where we have runoffs to get to 50%+1 in holdover Jim Crow era systems).

Our current system of 56 separate elections is that because in all but two states and the District of Columbia the winner takes all the electoral votes. (Maine and Nebraska split their votes by congressional district with the statewide winner getting two more.) That increases the relative impact of a small state voters at the expense of large state voters. Why should a voter in Wyoming have more impact than one in Texas?

The – and I’ve never written of it before – only possible problem I see with going to a straight popular vote is what happens if we need a nationwide recount? A version of Rose’s idea eliminates that possible nightmare scenario. Keep each entity (more on that verbiage below) as a winner takes all (the exceptions would still be Maine and Nebraska respecting their wishes) but simply assign the number of electoral votes by congressional district (or their equivalent in the case of non-states) thereby coming close to achieving the goal of a democracy: one person – one vote? Since each entity would get a minimum of one electoral vote there would still be some disparity, but it would be minimal especially when compared to the current system.

As to my choice of the word “entity”. I feel that the possessions/territories (i.e. Puerto Rico) should be eligible to vote in the presidential election. Guam, because of its unique situation with respect to citizenship, presents an issue, but in all others everyone born there is an American citizen. In all cases the census can be used to adjust electoral vote allocations as population changes.

I want to thank Rose and several others for their friendship and hospitality!

That explains my “absence”. I have two minor operations scheduled for later this summer which will probably result in two “dark” Thursdays; otherwise, publishing should be on regular schedule. This was the first time off my wife and I took in many years and I feel we deserved it. In any event with regard to this column I am my own boss and besides I’m “firing” myself in mid-December anyway.

Thanks again Rose, especially for your great idea!

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One thought on “A Remedy By Rose”

  1. Welcome back, Larry. I enjoyed your visit. And I’m preparing a list of questions about baseball rules. (grins)

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