Electoral College won't change


Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 1:05 a.m.
There are two things that are never going to happen to the Electoral College and there are very powerful economic reasons why not.
The first thing that will never happen is a return to the original design of the Electoral College, where each congressional district chooses one elector, and each state chooses two at large, echoing the state's representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The electors from each district were to vote the way their respective districts voted, and the two at large electors were to vote as the state voted.
Most states, but not all, have adopted "winner takes all" laws that cast all of its electoral votes with the state's two "at large" electoral votes and thus distorts the way the Electoral College is supposed to work.
Such state laws can produce dangerous situations, like putting an entire state's electoral votes at risk of being determined by a hanging chad in one precinct. Under the original intent of the Electoral College the 2004 debacle would have affected only three electoral votes, not all of Florida's 27.
The second thing that will never happen is the abolition of the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote for president. Under the current system each party can eliminate the expense of presidential campaigning in all of the states whose electoral votes are certain to go to their side or to the opposing side. This leaves perhaps a dozen "battleground" states like Florida, Ohio and Missouri where both parties can pour money into campaigns to win the presidency.
The cost of a presidential campaign is already enormous. Having to extend the campaign to all 50 states could easily quadruple that cost.

Russ Nekorchuk,

Gainesville

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