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Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on Electoral College

In his "As I See It" column in the Dec. 1 issue of the Echo Journal, Mr. Abler wrote about the Electoral College. He stated, "Do away with the Electoral College in favor of direct popular vote for the presidency and small states - Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas and many others - won't see a major candidate except on television."

The Electoral College actually encourages the marginalization of small states, which candidates already ignore. They concentrate their efforts on "swing" states.

Today, the very structure of the Electoral College permits a tyranny of the minority. A candidate need only win in 11 states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and New Jersey) to become president. That candidate could lose in the remainder 39 states.

If we assume that there are only two candidates, the losing candidate could garner over 75 percent of the popular vote by losing in the 11 states by the slimmest of margins and winning in the rest by the greatest of margins. If the popular vote represents the democratic will of the people in elections, the Electoral College can and does trump the will of the people.

Over a dozen states have a senator from each party, which reflects a division of the will of the people between the parties. Yet, the present process of the Electoral College does not allow for this type of division. It is all or nothing.

In our state, Trump won in the rural areas, and Mrs. Clinton won only in the urban areas. However, she prevailed in the popular vote and won all 10 electoral votes. Thus, the Electoral College essentially threw out all votes for Trump and effectively disenfranchised Trump voters. Mr. Abler may think that this is fair and democratic, but I do not.

Robert Eliason,

Lake Shore

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