The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Info offered about electoral college


August 3, 2017

To The Eagle:

I was surprised to read some folks see the Electoral College as simply an “anachronistic” practice. Great word anachronistic, as many today also believe it applies to capitalism or socialism, depending on your viewpoint. Others believe the word applies to personal liberty, state sovereignty and even our constitution.

Anyone who reads the pros and cons of our electoral college, quickly becomes aware that our EC was designed to protect a unique federalism with self-regulating states and ensuring individual citizen liberty.

“In defense of the Electoral College” [Washington Post] says “the Electoral a stabilizing force in our democracy. ...There is hardly anything in the Constitution harder to explain, or easier to misunderstand, than the Electoral College. ...The Electoral College is at the very core of our system of federalism.”

The 1787 Constitutional Convention of States produced arguments for and against the EC. There was great fear that using only a citizen popular-vote would be “...distorted by a president who mistook popular election as a mandate for dictatorship.” How true, many today have forgotten that Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler were all freely elected by popular vote during democratic national elections. A decade later, each had become a dictator and millions died.

James Madison created the EC method of electing our federal union president. The voter majority within each state, directs their state who to support. The EC reinforces both state sovereignty and free-will of citizens, to ‘jointly elect’ the president of the states. It forces citizens and states to work together in selecting their president.

The EC wisdom to protect federalism was displayed in 1860, as Abraham Lincoln earned only 39 percent of the popular vote, but won a huge victory in the Electoral College. An EC federal election critical to ending slavery in the USA.

Our constitution sets the protocol for our federal union of states and citizens; and the Electoral College is dominant in implementing that federalism. Many have forgotten that the states created the federal union and their federal consitution. To abolish the EC would be a catalyst toward dismantling federalism itself.

Washington Post: “The Electoral College...may appear inefficient. But the Founders...were interested in securing the blessing of Liberty. The Electoral College is...not a bad device for securing that.”

Rick Fritz

Puget Island


Reader Comments

cityzen writes:

This letter is full of so much incorrect information, it's hard to know where to start. - There is no constitutional requirement that electors vote with the majority of their state. States can appoint electors any way they like. Winner take all is a modern innovation. - Lincoln's election led to the destruction of slavery, but crediting the electoral college is absurd. Slavery would have died year earlier without the EC giving southerners more votes per person -Stalin was never elected


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