The Edmond Sun

February 21, 2014

LETTER: Spiking the Electoral College

Special to The Sun

EDMOND — To the Editor:

In the presidential election of 1788, Washington won all the electoral votes. Those electors were chosen by less than 1.3 percent of the population. The vote was so small because only white males who owned land could vote and in four states the electors were chosen by the legislators.

The founders believed that this decision should rest with a group of men who were more likely to be familiar with the candidates. At the time the U.S. had a population of 3 million. Significantly smaller than Oklahoma today. The founders believed that the ultimate decision would lay with the Congress, as they believed the electoral college vote was not likely to result in a winner.

Some state senators have been attacked by their own party for voting in favor of a national popular vote to elect the president. Their critics have cited the wisdom of the founders in establishing the electoral college as a reason to oppose such a change. Our country has changed in ways the founders could not have imagined and the way our presidential elections have occurred has been different from what they expected.

Critics of these legislators correctly note that the founders established this system to protect the smaller states by giving them a greater voice in the election. This is the reason that we should move to a national popular election. The electoral college subverts democracy by allowing a minority to rule over the majority. Our courts have established and repeatedly upheld the principal of “one person, one vote.”

The critics prefer this system because they are currently benefiting from it. That is the real reason that they prefer it: They gain an unfair advantage from it. They are putting their party’s interest over the fundamental right of all people to their votes counted equally.

I thank those state senators who voted for the proposal and I encourage all our state representatives to vote for it when it comes up in the House.

Jim McGoodwin