Friday, May 9, 2014

Good enough to keep?

It all started with a petition a couple of months ago. Then it came up in a meeting with several business people. After that the same topic arose when I was with a group of my young friends and this morning I heard about it again at my ladies Bible study. It’s not the parting of the red sea, the best clothes store to shop at or even anything about the weather – people are talking about the Electoral College and we need to help them understand what it is and why our founding fathers put it in the Constitution.

For those of you who are just a little confused don’t worry, a lot of people are! The Electoral College isn’t a learning institution. I guess that’s the first myth we need to debunk, believe it or not some people aren’t sure. The Electoral College isn’t a place it is a process that the founding fathers established as a compromise between the election of President by a vote in Congress, a process used in other countries, and election of the President by the popular votes of qualified citizens, which might sound good but I’ll explain why it won’t work for us.

We really only need to take into consideration the states directly surrounding us (I’m writing from South Dakota today) to understand why popular vote is not a good option.

The current population as recorded by the US Census Bureau in our surrounding states is as follows:
Montana 989,415
North Dakota 672,591
South Dakota 814,180
Nebraska 1,826,341
Wyoming 563,626
For a total of 4,866,153
So if EVERY PERSON in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming voted we would have 4,866,153 votes accounted for. Of course this is a list of the entire population and two things need to be taken into consideration:
1. Not everyone is of age to vote and
2. Even those who are of age to vote aren’t all registered
But stay with me for a moment and let’s continue to use these numbers as our example. SO if everyone in this 5 state area went to the tolling both, check marked their vote for President and turned it in and IF WE WERE VOTING BASED ON POPULAR VOTE California alone would still have 303,879,385 more votes than our entire 5 states combined!

Are you realizing my point? It is the electoral college alone that puts our lesser populated states on the map. If it weren’t for the 3 votes in our Electoral College, as a Wyomingite I wouldn’t even have a reason to go to the poll.

For the hecklers in the crowd who are still claiming that our electoral college is corrupt and those people don’t vote based on the popular vote, in fact there are twenty seven states that have laws requiring electors to vote for their party’s candidate if that candidate gets a majority of the state’s popular vote. In twenty four states no such laws apply but it is still precedent for electors to vote for their party’s nominee.

How can you be absolutely sure there’s not corruption in your states Electoral College? There is corruption everywhere – that’s life! However, you can become involved in the college itself. Each state has a different selection process but the majority of the time political parties nominate electors at their state conventions (when was the last time you were at your state’s convention?) they are usually state elected officials or party leaders. So I again ask the age old question, if change doesn’t start with you and I then who and if it doesn’t start now then when? Please help me in sharing the VALUE of our Electoral College so that our states remain represented in 2016 and beyond!

- Trinity Lewis

No comments:

Post a Comment