Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Your Vote Counts....Sort Of

“The United States is the only country that elects a politically powerful president via an electoral college and the only one in which a candidate can become president without having obtained the highest number of votes in the sole or final round of popular voting.”
—George C. Edwards

I’ve already voted. Last week. Not sure what difference it makes, since my state is always a lock for the Republicans. All I can hope for is that if the nationwide popular vote result differs from the Electoral College result, we might once again consider doing away with the Electoral College or, at least, modifying it in some way.

I understand the arguments for the electoral approach and it probably made a lot of sense back in the day. And when you read your history you will note that slavery and women’s voting rights, or lack thereof, played a major part in the agreement to use “electors” to pick the President and Vice-President. There is also a deep conversation about Federalism and states rights woven into the fabric of the electoral debate.

But it’s time to move on. We are living in different times. The electoral system has created a situation where the race for the most powerful office on the planet is determined by a few states. More specifically, by a few key counties within a few key states. I don’t think this was what the founding fathers had in mind when they came up with the electoral concept. (What they really had in mind was for the Congress to elect the President and Vice President. They weren’t real keen on giving too much power to the masses either.)

One can argue the merits of different voting systems and fairness to small states or rural population vs. urban population. But, when it comes down to it, the best approach is one person-one vote. Most votes wins.

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