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Letters: Electoral college

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  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:00 a.m.

    The United States is a federation of States. In our nation, the State is the controlling power in our lives. Open your wallet and look at your driver's license. Look at your birth certificate. As first written, the Constitution allowed the people to be represented as equally as possible by the House of Representatives. The State legislatures chose two Senators to represent their State and then the States, through the electoral college, voted for the President who most closely represented the views of each State.

    If we had the vision of the two primary purposes of the Federal Government, which is to defend the States against enemies, foreign and domestic, and to assist the States to work with each other without undue confusion, then we would not ask the question that the letter writer asked.

    The President represents the Federal Government to the States and to the world. He ensures that the laws passed by Congress for the seventeen duties authorized to the Federal Government are properly enacted. All other duties are to be handled by the States where the Governor, who is directly elected by the people, is in charge.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    Jake Sorenson

    I agree with what you said. I voted for Bush, but Gore should have been President. The reason for the electoral college in the old days was that it was not possible a candidate could get around the country to campaign. Now with media they can. A person running for President can get the message out in all 50 states. Plus, the very reason for the college, namely, stopping a candidate from just focasing on a few states to win, has not changed. Every election we have the "battleground" states where this whole thing gets decided. All the rest are ignored by candidates. Obama and Romney would not waste time campaining in Utah, because all electoral votes go to one or the other. Same for Romney in California. So all votes by the loser in a state get dis-enfranchised, because they become meaningless with the electoral vote. I want one election in America where I know my vote equals the vote of someone in New York. The electoral college is not good. Bush v Gore is all anyone needs to see that.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    "We don’t need others to vote for us because Americans are able to think for themselves and have the right for their vote to count and matter."

    Good point. The electoral college is an anachronism in today's world where votes can be cast and counted in milliseconds.

    Also, substitute "Utahns" for "Americans" and this is a good reason to eliminate the caucus system of selecting candidates in Utah. The electoral college and the caucus system are birds of a feather.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Careful. The Electoral College gives rural (read conservative) states out-sized voting weight.

    Are you SURE you want a pure popular vote?

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Eliminate the electoral college then candidates will only have to campaign in the most populous states. It's better to hold them accountable to the majority of the states and not to the majority of the people.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Jake,
    The reason is... We don't live in a Pure Democracy. The founding fathers were VERY against Pure Democracy which they believed leads to "Tyranny of the Majority". I suggest you google "Tyranny of the Majority" and read about it.

    These are SOME of the countermeasures our founding fathers put in place just to prohibit just what you suggest...

    Wikipedia:
    "Supermajority rules, constitutional limits on the powers of a legislative body, and the introduction of a Bill of Rights have been used to counter the perceived problem. A separation of powers has also been implemented to limit the force of the majority in a single legislative chamber"...

    I would add... the electoral collage, and the Senate (which is absolutely and INTENTIONALLY not based on population).

    ---

    It's Jake's mentality that's constantly trying to change our form of government. The electoral collage is outlined in the Constitution. We are a Constitutional Republic. That's why we do it this way.

    I don't think our founding fathers chose this form of government just because they didn't have electronic voting machines. It wasn't accidental. It was a wise separation from "Pure Democracy" intended to prevent tyranny.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Well, we have an electoral college becuase the Constitution of the United States says that we will have one.

    People complain about it all the time, but no one has ever attempted to amend the Constitution to eliminate it. If you want that to happen, contact your representative and/or senator to begin the process. If the Equal Rights Amendment is any indication, it will then take about 10 years.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    On a different-but-related note, I'd like to point out that anyone who supports the caucus system here in Utah but opposes the Electoral College, or opposes the Utah caucus system but supports the Electoral College, is a hypocrite. The Electoral College is really nothing more than our caucus/delegate system on the national stage.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    I Believe that the Electoral College is still a good idea as 2 bits outline, I would think that they could tweak it a bit to be more reflective of the popular vote by changing how the Electoral votes are distributed.

    Instead of the winner of the state getting "All" the votes, he should get the percentage of votes that he won the state.

    As an example, GOP candidate won 60 percent of the vote and the democrat won 40 and the state had 10 Electoral votes, then the GOP would receive 6 of the 10 votes.

    It would still allow smaller states a voice while it does not negate votes of bigger population states as well.

    And yes I know I used a simplistic example.

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founders meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power.

    The Electoral College is now dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

    During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all states.

    The current method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), ensured that the candidates, after the conventions, did not reach out to about 80% of voters. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the 40 states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    Since WWII, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    The Founders left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the "mobs." There have been 22,991 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party. Since 1796, the Electoral College has not been the deliberative body envisioned by the Founders.

    The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

    Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, we would continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    If we were a pure Democracy,

    America would already have:

    Higher taxes on the Wealthy,
    Cap and Trade on Coal,
    Universal Healthcare [Single Payer],
    have our military out of the Middle East,
    have our military out of ALL Foreign Countries,
    Gay marriage,
    Legalized marijuana,
    and Term Limits for Politicians.

    My guess is we'd probably also have public lynching and mob rules as well.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Eliminating the college is a good idea. It will give an edge to the reality of America, which is to say a decidedly urban view which is, well, less conservative. That's who we are.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    The winner of the World Series may not always be the team which scored the most runs in a season -- it is the team that won the most games.

    What is the game? Addressing the concerns of each state as a discrete block of individuals. Since interests vary from state to state, the person who finds the best balance between them is elected president.

    As others have said, we're not a pure democracy -- we're a democratic republic. If we were a pure democracy, the interests of a few large cities would overrule the rest of us. We don't want that. The Founders were wise to avoid it.

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    In 2012, 24 of the nation's 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions -- including 10 of the most rural and 12 of the 13 lowest population states -- 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC).

    In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was 9.9 million versus 9.8 million, and electoral vote 57 versus 58.

    Kerry won 21 electoral votes, Bush 19 in the 12 least-populous non-battleground states, even though Bush won 650,421 popular votes compared to Kerry’s 444,115 votes. Red states are redder than blue states are blue.

    Utah generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than 1/3 of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    Now, it could only take winning the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the country, for a candidate to win with a mere 23% of the nation's votes!

  • oldgulph VILLANOVA, PA
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    A survey of Utah voters showed 70% overall support for the idea that the President should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    Support by political affiliation, was 82% among Democrats, 66% among Republicans, and 75% among others.
    By gender, support was 78% among women and 60% among men.
    By age, support was 70% among 18-29 year olds, 70% among 30-45 year olds, 70% among 46-65 year olds, and 68% for those older than 65.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every election.

    When states with a combined total of at least 270 electoral votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in the country would get the needed majority of 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states.

    The bill has passed 32 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes, and been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes – 50.4% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    To get rid of the Electoral College would require a Constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendments are, by design, difficult. This is a good thing.
    The Electoral College gives disproportionate power to small, low population states. Those states, therefore, are unlikely to support such an amendment.
    You need 38 states to ratify an amendment.
    So the question is, are there more than 12 low-population states? And since the answer to that question is 'yes,' I think we can confidently predict that no such amendment will ever be passed.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    Twin Lights and Hutterite

    You two need to get on the same political page.

    As for the electoral college, why would anyone think it fair that a candidate for President in the state of California who got say 15 million votes lost to the guy who got 15 million and 1 vote. That 15 million becomes essentially non existant. No power at all. Some states, Nebraska I think have a porportional representation, which would give the losing candidate at least some electoral votes. But this "winner take all" electoral vote is in itself a pure democracy, which was supposedly not meant to be in the first place. And, lets face it, one of the very reasons for the electoral college existance has long gone since a campaign can easily reach every corner of the country without the candidate even leaving home. No one wins by only going to the largest population states, they win by going to the "swing states", which are not the biggest in population. How has that made anything better? I want my vote to count if I'm living in a blue state, and yours if you live in a red state.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    m.g. scott,
    You have some convoluted ways of pretending you don't have a vote (when you do) or your vote doesn't count (when it does).

    Just because you don't win doesn't mean your vote didn't count. If you are in the minority in your state (and the majority gets all the electoral votes)... that does not mean you vote didn't count. You just didn't win.

    ---

    Similar logic can be applied when there's a pure majority wins approach. Then people can say every person who votes differently than i did cancels out their vote... so in affect their vote didn't count. It's all illogical.

    You get a vote... it counts. It may not win, but it counts.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    If we were to go with abolishing the electoral college we'd need a federal standard of elections so that every state is on even footing with things like early voting days etc.

    @LDSLiberal
    And background checks on all gun purchases.

  • kohler Cheyenne, WY
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    E Sam: You don't understand.

    National Popular Vote does not get rid of the Electoral College.

    It would change current state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution).

    The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    When states with a combined total of at least 270 Electoral College votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in the country would get the needed majority of 270+ ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes from the enacting states.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group.

    Among the 13 lowest population states, the bill has passed in 9 state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.

    Overall, the bill has passed 32 state legislative chambers in 21 rural, small, medium, and large states with 243 electoral votes, and been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes -- 50.4% of the 270 necessary.

    NationalPopularVote

  • kohler Cheyenne, WY
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    2 bit:

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state.

    Unlike other U.S. elections, now the minority party votes in winner-take-all states, in presidential elections, are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate, they don't help their candidate. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate)

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates. Utah generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004.

    8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    In the 12 least-populous non-battleground states, Bush won 650,421 popular votes, 19 electoral votes, Kerry won 444,115 votes, 21 electoral votes.

    Red states are redder than the blue states are blue

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    2 bit

    So explain to me how the 543,800 thousand votes that Gore got above Bush were of any value to Gore? The only reason they didn't count is because of geography. Remember, in the end, the courts were not counting electoral votes, they were counting popular votes, which Bush won by some 300 in one state only (Florida). You really think the system worked? That's convoluted. To go back to your point, the minority won in that case, not the majority. In one national election, I think we all as Americans should come together and have a national say so about who our President will be, since he will represent ALL of us not just the state we live in. Every other election in the country is a state or local election. Wouldn't one national referendum where every American, no matter what state they live in, could cast an equal vote be nice? I think so.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    atl134
    Salt Lake City, UT
    If we were to go with abolishing the electoral college we'd need a federal standard of elections so that every state is on even footing with things like early voting days etc.

    @LDSLiberal
    And background checks on all gun purchases.

    11:29 a.m. Nov. 7, 2013

    ============

    Yes,
    backgound checks....

    Not to mention,
    That Utah would be forever silenced in Washington D.C. because of it's 0.87% popultion of the nation.

    New York, L.A. and Chicago would basically run the place.

    But thinking about GW Bush being "selected" and not "elected",
    and the trouble he caused this great nation still makes me sad, bitter and angry.

  • kohler Cheyenne, WY
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    National Popular Vote does not abolish the Electoral College.

    There is nothing incompatible between differences in state election laws and the concept of a national popular vote for President. That was the mainstream view when the U.S. House voted for a national popular vote 338-70. It was endorsed by Nixon, Gerald Ford, and members of Congress who later ran for VP and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Dole.

    Under the current system, the electoral votes from all states are comingled and added together, irrespective of the fact that the electoral-vote outcome from each state was affected by differences in state policies, including voter registration, ex-felon voting, hours of voting, amount and nature of advance voting, and voter identification requirements.

    Under both the current system and the NPV compact, we are all impacted by the different election policies of states. The procedures governing elections in a battleground state (e.g., Florida and Ohio) can affect, and have affected, the ultimate outcome of national elections.

    The Constitution permits states to conduct elections in varied ways. The NPV compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and preserves state control of elections.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    Bottom line... Until the US Constitution changes, this guy won't get his way. And that's not likely to happen. So it's a mute point.

    We can debate it all we want but it's not going to change anything (as long as the Constitution is around).

    If we amend it (not likely)... I'll support it. I support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    People on the left should try that. There would be a LOT less bickering about how it SHOULD be if they read the Constitution and the writings of our founding fathers and discover why they did what they did.

  • kohler Cheyenne, WY
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.
    The population of the top 5 cities (NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the US and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15%.

    Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

    If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.

    A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida.

    The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With NPV, when every vote matters everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. Democrats and Republicans will care about Vermont and Utah.

  • crmeatball South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Much of this confusion and misunderstanding of the Electoral College stems not necessarily from how the system is designed or implemented. It is how it is portrayed. For presidential elections, the media shows it as a national contest. However, a simple examination of such shows it is not a nationwide contest, but a set of 50 individual state contests. There is no such thing as a national election. It has never existed in this country. We participate in state and local elections. Many people fail to comprehend that sovereignty exists at the state level, and the Electoral College allows for those 50 sovereign states to work in unity (ie United States).

    The founders recognized the importance of local direction in governance, but also saw a need for working at a national level for survival. However, since the expansion of the federal government and a failure of educating people on our republican form of government, people see things as nationally, rather than state controlled.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    "My question is simple: Why do we still have the electoral college?"

    Because this country is full of low-information voters. Many can't even identify the presidents... such as G.W. Bush. Of course, they can readily identify Obama, the government-handouts president.

    The electoral college is designed to ensure that, if the majority of voters become low information voters, there will be someone who will use their brains to elect a president who loves this country, our constitution, and will not let foreigners take over the White House. We're almost there now with the recent election of Barack Hussein Obama.

  • otto Boise, ID
    Nov. 7, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    The Constitution does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

    In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only 3 states used the winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    State laws enacted since, gave us have the right to vote for presidential electors in all states, there are no property requirements for voting, and the state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states.

    The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President as specified in the Constitution is action by state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and is the method that the Constitution provides for making changes. NPV is enacted by state laws.

  • otto Boise, ID
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    As explained before:

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without changing anything in the Constitution.

    The bill would change current state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted and used by 48 states).

    The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections.

    Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the "canvas") in a "Certificate of Ascertainment" containing the official count of the popular vote. With NPV, as with the bill passed by the House of Representatives in 1969, the popular-vote count from each state would be added up to obtain the nationwide total for each candidate.

    When the bill is in effect, with enacting states with a combined total of at least 270 ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes from the enacting states.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal:
    "But thinking about GW Bush being 'selected' and not 'elected.' and the trouble he caused this great nation still makes me sad, bitter and angry."

    You ain't seen trouble yet, until Obamacare gets implemented.

    @2 bits:
    "Bottom line... Until the US Constitution changes, this guy won't get his way. And that's not likely to happen."

    The Constitution is changing... in fact it's starting to 'hang by the proverbial thread.' Obamacare is the latest and most prime example. We are on the road to fiscal disaster and there seems to be no one in positions of authority who will do anything about it let alone even recognize the peril we face.

  • otto Boise, ID
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    The NPV bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in the current handful of battleground states, like Ohio and Florida.

    The current system does not provide a check on the "mobs." There have been 22,991 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party. Since 1796, the Electoral College has had the form, but not the substance, of the deliberative body envisioned by the Founders. The electors now are dedicated party activists to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

    If a Democratic candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the EC voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Republican party activists become the EC voting bloc. The winner is the candidate who collects 270 votes from EC voters from the winning party's dedicated activists.

    The Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over electors).

  • infoguy Alameda, CA
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Electoral college works as it was planned. Balances the playing field between large, populous, economically powerful states, and smaller, less powerful states. The United States was NEVER intended to be a popular democracy, it is a constitutional republic. It is the United STATES of America, not the United PEOPLE of America. You don't like it? Fine. Please enact a constitutional amendment to make the necessary changes.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    Poor Mike Richards is in a quandary. I know he hates to see Democrats in office. But he delivered well a good defense of the Constitutional arguments for its existence (though the system could be changed by Constitutional Amendment). And yes in 2000, the Electoral College system worked against the Democrats. But times (and demographics) have changed. The Republicans have no chance in 2016 and probably a few elections after that under the current system. And there lies the quandary, the Electoral College Mike Richards defends so well will keep on delivering (for the Democrats) and keep Mike & Co. in a state of angst...

  • otto Boise, ID
    Nov. 8, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    The current presidential election system is not in the Constitution and does not function, at all, the way that the Founders thought that it would.

    Supporters of NPV find it hard to believe the Founders would endorse the current electoral system where 80% of the states and voters now are completely politically irrelevant. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. Now the majority of Americans, in small, medium-small, average, and large states are ignored. In 2012, 24 of the nation's 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions.

    States have the responsibility and Constitutional power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election.

    Part of the genius of the Founders was allowing for change as needed. When they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t give us the right to vote, or establish state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes, or establish any method, for how states should award electoral votes. Fortunately, the Constitution allowed and allows state legislatures to enact laws allowing people to vote and how to award electoral votes. We can fix this.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Jake doesn't seem to understand the reason for the Electoral College. It is part of a compromise to protect the small states from being completely dominated by the large states. States may allow all votes to go to the candidate with the most votes in the state or a state may allow the same percentage of electoral votes as the percentage of the state popular vote if they wish.

    Jake may not also understand that it would take a constitutional amendment to eliminate the electoral college. This is not likely because the half of the states that are below the average population would never ratify such an amendment.

    There is much more to the Electoral College than what some see as an arcane system, which it is not. It still has the same purpose as it did in 1787 Convention. Utah being a small state would lose electoral votes in such a deal. Candidates would never bother to campaign in small states.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    One current side effect of the Electoral College shown today is that in actuality, the candidates only pay attention to states that are up for grabs that are relatively large in electoral votes. So the vast majority of campaigning in the last several elections has taken place in Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Nevada, Missouri, Iowa and of course Florida. Pretty much all the other states, whether they are large (CA) or small (WY) in population, are done deals and neither candidate will waste resources in them. Of course with the non-stop commercials, perhaps in Utah (the REDDEST of all states), we should be grateful. But on the other hand, neither party pays much attention to Utah. This is the current Electoral College reality. Eight or so states get attention, the other 42 or so are ignored. I'm not sure this is a good thing...