An April 30 letter said the Electoral College "was put in place because the Founders didn't trust democracy and voters." Nothing could be farther from the truth.

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, how to elect the president became a hot topic. James Wilson from Pennsylvania moved to elect the president by a direct popular vote. James Madison from Virginia objected because the North had a larger population and would dominate the South in presidential elections.

To level the playing field for the South, Madison came up with a plan that would allow the South to count their enormous slave population in electing the president. Slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person in determining how many representatives were allocated to each state. The South had 59 more representatives due to the three-fifths clause and thus 59 more electoral votes. This was a compromise that had to be included in the Constitution before the South would approve the Constitution.

The Electoral College was an artificially created gimmick by Madison for the sole purpose of giving slave states a greater voice in the election of the president. The three-fifths clause gave slave states a stronger voice in the U.S. House.

Once slavery was abolished and slaves were given citizenship, the Electoral College served no purpose.

Marvin Jacobson

Clermont Fla.