Letter to the editor: A more democratic way to elect the president of the United States
In a letter to the editor, “Put the National Popular Vote on 2020 ballot” (published July 10 in the Summit Daily News), Kim McGahey expresses the view that the bill passed by the Colorado Legislature throws away Colorado votes. Actually, the new law works better to accomplish the goal of every vote counting than the existing Electoral College method of electing our president. Since we are talking about a national office, the most democratic way to elect the president — and insure one person, one vote fairness — would be for the winner of the national popular vote to become president of the U.S. Why don’t we do this, then? We probably will at some point, but it will require an amendment to the Constitution that changes the current method of election. This amendment process is long and arduous.
With the current method of election, if you vote Republican and live, for example, in California or New York, and the Democrats carry the popular vote in your state, then what happens to your vote? Isn’t it “thrown away”? The same thing happens to a Democrat living, for example, in Texas or Alabama.
The National Popular Vote Compact (basically what Colorado signed onto in the new law) is an attempt to make every vote count, without going through the difficult amendment process. The compact works like this: If your state signs onto the compact, and if enough states sign onto the compact to give a total of 270 electoral votes from these states (that is, a majority of electoral votes), then your state honors the requirement of the compact that all its electoral votes go to the winner of the national popular vote. In essence, this means that the president will have been elected by the national popular vote. Without enough states joining the compact to reach the majority of electoral votes, it is business as usual.
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