Reader's view: It’s time to end unfairness of the Electoral College
If you doubt the Electoral College is unconscionably biased in favor of small states, just compare the electoral votes per capita across state boundaries. A presidential vote cast in a small state like Wyoming counts about as much as four votes cast in the largest states like Texas or California. I have nothing against the good citizens of Wyoming, but are they really so superior to the rest of us that they deserve such an edge?
No constitutional amendment is necessary to change this undemocratic system. The National Popular Vote initiative would effect change in a completely constitutional manner. States would sign an agreement to cast all their electoral votes for the presidential candidate with the most votes nationwide, not just in one state. The agreement would take effect only when enough states signed on to constitute a majority in the Electoral College. When that point was reached, the national popular-vote winner automatically would become president.
The advantages would be enormous. Presidential candidates would have to campaign all across the country, not just in the swing states. Neither Democrats in red states nor Republicans in blue states would feel their votes were meaningless. Best of all, each person’s vote would count exactly the same, so no one could credibly claim unfairness.
Recently, New York joined nine other states plus the District of Columbia in signing on to this initiative. This bloc represents 61 percent of the electoral votes needed. This is not a pipe dream but a golden opportunity to inject democracy into our presidential elections. We must jettison an outmoded and unfair relic of an elitist, horse-and-buggy past. Let’s end the blatant hypocrisy of proclaiming the virtues of democracy abroad while our own presidential elections are less democratic than those in Afghanistan.
James J. Amato