The Electoral College

This letter is in regard to the column, “The Electoral College–under attack–must survive,” of June 2.

The premise of the column — that without the Electoral College presidential candidates would only visit certain parts of the country — ignores an essential fact: they do that now. A study by the non-partisan FairVote found that two-thirds of the 2016 presidential campaign events were held in just six states. Half of the states saw no presidential candidate in person.

The author writes that electing a president by popular vote would give “too much sway to relatively small geographic pockets of the country.” Yet, with its focus on a handful of so-called battleground states, that’s exactly the condition the Electoral College creates. That Pennsylvania is among those states, which may produce a fleeting moment for our “album of lifetime memories,” should not color the facts.

Regardless of any alleged advantages, the Electoral College is undemocratic; where you live has an impact on the power of your vote. Defending the Electoral College means concomitantly accepting the fact that residents of Wyoming or Vermont have a greater voice in selecting the president of the United States than those of California or Pennsylvania.

Republicans, of course, by and large favor the Electoral College today, not because of any deep-rooted conviction about the Constitution, but because it has produced favorable results for them. Despite winning the popular vote in just one of the past seven presidential elections, Republicans have controlled the White House for almost 40 percent of those years. The will of the people? Hardly.

Even Donald Trump, whose off-again relationship with the truth is well documented, got it right when he described the Electoral College as “a disaster for a democracy” (a position that quickly changed after he won the presidency while losing the popular vote). If, as your headline said, the Electoral College is under attack, it’s with good reason.

Brad Nason

Loyalsock Township

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom