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Eliminate the Electoral College

10/22/2007 06:44 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm going to write again about the
importance of electing the President of the United States with the
popular vote.

The Electoral College is an antiquated system. It was created over
200 years ago as part of the "grand compromise" to win over states
with smaller populations so that they would ratify the US
Constitution. Pro-slavery Southern States wanted as much power as
the more populated Northern States.

Some people still say that the Electoral College system provides
citizens outside large population centers an equal voice. If small
states want even more disproportionate representation than given by
having two senators, than let's give states even more rights to
determine their social and economic destinies. All politics are
local, right?

The Electoral College is meant to give all states influence over
national politics. But under the Electoral System today, many states
are already tagged "red or blue" and are thus effectively ignored by
the candidates. Most campaign energy is being focused on swing
voters in key "battleground states."

Over the years, leading national political figures like Strom
Thurmond, Orrin Hatch, Ted Kennedy, Kweisi Mfume and John McCain have
supported approaches to reform the Electoral College. Why, if it has
been the subject of more proposed amendments than any other part of
our constitution, has it not been eliminated?

Bottom line, it could reduce the GOPs ability to elect a Republican
President. And since Republicans control a large number of small
population states, it would be difficult to get it passed by the
senate and then ratified by the requisite number of states.

Supporters of the Electoral system say that since the popular vote
would have only changed the outcome in three elections so far, it
doesn't need to go. But this is about the destiny of an entire
nation. If just one election is changed by the popular vote, that in
itself is compelling enough to adjust the system.

History was altered forever with Bush's election in 2000 via the
Electoral College (or some would say, the Supreme Court, but the
contest would have been resolved long before via the popular vote).
The mess of the 2000 election is reason enough to change the system.
A neoconservative minority was allowed to storm the White House with
a radical, unrepresentative agenda.

So, are there some partial solutions to at least bring the system
into greater parity for all United States citizens?

We could move to a system where every state partitions their
electoral votes. But all states would need to agree to do this -- not
just a handpicked selection -- to make this new system fair. Dividing
up just California (such as what was proposed in the recently
disbanded republican initiative to href="http://www.nodirtytricks.com/" target="blank">split electoral
votes in California), for instance, would dilute that state's
electoral power and skew elections.

In addition to allowing third parties a greater voice in national
elections and providing a fairer system where we can all be treated
equal, electing the President by popular vote might also increase
voter turnout.

There is no use for the archaic Electoral system in our modern, mass
communication driven, interconnected world. U.S. citizens think and
vote on a more regional and national level now. It's time to elect
the President and Vice President of the United States by direct,
popular vote. Or, at least, alter the way electoral votes are
delegated.

What is your opinion? Should we do away with the Electoral College?
Since it seems the political will is not there, how?

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