St. Charles Herald-Guide

Electoral college is not democratic

By Allen Lottinger - July 27, 2012

Though we live in the world’s greatest democracy, we have some shortcomings in how we elect our President and Vice President.

For example, votes from the people of Louisiana will not count very much in determining who wins the election in November. A majority of the voters are expected to favor the Republican nominees.

That means all eight of our electoral votes will go Republican - unless of course some of the electors elected go against their trust and vote Democratic. Meanwhile, if a majority of California’s voters vote Democratic, the Democratic nominees will get all of that state’s 55 electoral votes, which is one-fourth of the nation’s votes.

And so it is in other states where all of the electoral college votes go to the candidates wth the most popular vote. As a result, candidates can get 60 or 70 percent of the popular vote and lose the election.

Is this democracy?

Two of the states, have abandoned the winner take all policy and allot their electoral college votes to the winners in each Congressional district. The two electoral votes allotted to the two senators in each state go to the candidates who win the most Congressional districts in those states, allowing a split vote and some democracy to seep in.

Louisiana and other states could do likewise but it would take the action of the State Legislature. And it seems that most politicians want to keep the system the way it is because it gives their party more power in determining the outcome of elections.

But maybe, state by state, our nation can secede from the undemocratic way in which we hold our national election.

Fortunately, our popular vote still counts in Congressional elections. And though our President and Vice President do not necessarily represent the choice of the majority, our Congress does.