I appreciated the alternative views of the Electoral College on the News Tribune’s Nov. 14 Weekend Opinion cover.
The writer defending the current system asked us to imagine the horror if the candidates who won the majority of American votes in 2000 and 2016 had actually become president. But he assumed the vote totals would not have changed in the drastically altered campaign landscape of competing for the popular vote rather than concentrating on a few swing states. A shaky assumption.
The Electoral College is especially cruel to members of the minority party in states that tilt strongly one way or the other. Take Illinois. The 2.4 million people there who just voted for President Donald Trump had zero influence on the presidential race. Despite a 40% Republican result, Illinois will certify all 20 of its electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden. Millions of votes counted for nothing. It happens every four years. Why should they even bother to vote for president?
In a popular vote, Illinois conservatives could join forces with others across the country to strive for a majority. With votes actually making a difference, their turnout would likely increase. Same for Democrats in Alabama.
Whose turnout would increase more? There’s no way to know. Regardless, everyone’s vote should carry equal weight.