Preserve the Electoral College

We must protect the Electoral College system from being corrupted.

by Ronald Dixon

In recent months, some Republicans have expressed an interest in reforming the Electoral College system in order to award votes by proportional allocation.

Why would some Republicans flirt with the idea of a change to the Electoral College? Well, the answer is that Republicans would greatly benefit from it.

Under the current system, each state awards Electoral College votes based upon the majority of votes within each state. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that award votes proportionally based upon the majority of votes in each Congressional district. 

The Republican Party would benefit because the odds for them taking the presidency would increase greatly. And Republicans know this. Pete Lund, a Republican state representative in Michigan, was quoted in a Jan. 25 article in the Detroit News, saying, with regards to a similar measure he proposed in 2012, “It got no traction last year. There were people convinced Romney was going to win, and this might take (electoral) votes from him.”

For example, President Barack Obama beat Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney, both in the popular vote (62,611,250 to 59,134,475), as well as in the Electoral College majority (332 to 206). If we had a proportional Electoral College system, though, Romney would have defeated Obama (273 to 262). 

Romney would have won under this system because state legislatures, many of which are Republican-controlled, gerrymandered the congressional districts so that Republicans have a significant edge. The process involves “cracking” solidly Democratic districts into pieces, absorbed by several Republican districts, and by “packing” liberal constituents into tighter districts, leaving conservative majorities in other districts. This is why the populace can vote for more Democrats in the House than Republicans and yet the Republicans can still maintain a majority. 

In order to guarantee fair elections, we can’t decide the winners by cheating the system. Instead, let us keep the current system in order to prevent electoral abuses from conservative politicians.