Electoral College is contrary to democracy by ignoring popular votes


To the editor:

What about the Electoral College issue? The Electoral College was established by Article II of the Constitution, amended by the 12th Amendment in 1804, and is operational in presidential elections only.

Originally, a vote for a presidential candidate was actually a vote to instruct the electors of your state to cast their votes for your candidate. So, electoral votes reflected the popular vote.  That’s the way it used to be.

Over the years, politicians enacted winner-take-all state laws that required all electors to vote for the candidate with the most popular votes in their state. Forty-eight states have winner-take-all laws.  A federal appeals court in August 2019 upheld these laws as constitutional.

But these laws have an inherent inequity: votes of the minority are —in essence — not counted.

For example: Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in California in the 2016 election, which resulted in 4.5 million votes for Donald Trump being disregarded.  All electoral votes went to Clinton.  And the votes of 3.9 million Clinton voters met the same fate in Texas.  In 2016, the votes of 55 million people (42 percent of the electorate) were disregarded due to the winner-take-all system.

If America is to maintain its democracy, the Electoral College needs to be disbanded. The popular vote (one person, one vote) is operational in all other elections.  Shouldn’t our president be elected in the same manner?

Michael K. Broughton
Green Park

Editor’s note: Michael K. Broughton is a Green Park Ward 1 alderman.