The Nov. 14 Opinion page piece, “Let’s shut down the Electoral College,” argues that because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but not the election, the will of the majority of the people should be honored, and the Electoral College should be abolished.
The piece doesn’t mention that a majority of the states, mainly in the South and Midwest, voted for Donald Trump. These are states, such as Utah and Montana, with smaller populations.
Clinton’s popular vote came mainly from states with large populations. The Electoral College protects the will of the smaller, less-populated states. It’s part of the Constitution, and repealing this provision would allow a few states with large populations to dictate election outcomes for the entire country.
Our country is in chaos over the election upset, and articles such as this promote more unrest and resentment. In an election, one party wins, and the other loses.
I, too, am upset that my candidate will not be the first woman president. But demonstrations and protests will not result in a new election. They will feed and prolong the unrest in the country that has gone on too long already.
Rita Guttilla, Halesite
Calls to abolish the Electoral College are often accompanied by significant misinformation about its origins, purpose and function.
To that end, I must both clarify and disagree with Bob Keeler’s op-ed.
The real problem is not that electoral votes don’t correspond to the popular vote. The problem is that the Electoral College itself has become a rubber stamp. As Alexander Hamilton wrote, “The choice of several, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of one who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes.”
One premise was to ensure that an unqualified individual couldn’t ride a groundswell of national voting, in effect, to protect against demagoguery. While I declined to vote for either major presidential candidate for various reasons, it’s worth noting that, had the situation been reversed, there would probably be a plethora of articles claiming that a Donald Trump candidacy was a good example of the Electoral College’s purpose.
However, that would be mistaken. The Constitution was designed to work impartially against any passing whims of the populace as a fundamental check against any person or party that for the moment grasps all reins of power.
Aaron Eitan Meyer, Oceanside
For a good portion of American history, U.S. senators were chosen by state legislators and not by popular vote. That changed in 1913. The 17th Amendment required the election of senators by the people.
It’s time for another change. In 2000 and 2016, a presidential candidate with the most votes was not victorious. This demeans the one-person, one-vote doctrine. In electing a president, everyone’s vote should count equally.
Our democracy could be improved by modifying or abolishing the Electoral College. Such a change would create a fairer election system.
William Hippner, Southold
The suggestion to eliminate the Electoral College is a good one, but the crises in the United States and the world can’t be fixed by electoral reform alone.
Our system doesn’t bring the cream to the top. The results of the recent national election show that major parties provide unsuitable candidates when people with better ideas are ignored or suppressed. When voters are exposed only to dishonest, slick rhetoric, rather than learning the complete record of a candidate’s behavior, the country will continue its decline into Third World conditions and ignoble and unconstitutional conduct at home and abroad.
This situation will not change until a critical mass of the population comes to revere truth and justice and understands how to work intelligently to acquire them. An unaware, uninvolved, anti-intellectual electorate guarantees that only greedy, power-hungry demagogues will imperil the future for us and our children.
Schools need to produce citizens who can think critically and develop an understanding of a complex, rapidly changing world.
Robert M. Goldberg, Jericho