LEAD LETTER OF THE WEEK

Letter | Your vote may not count

May 4, 2014 

We Americans value and take pride in our individual vote for candidates we want to elect. Majority vote determines the winner. The Presidential election is the one case where it does not count.

Our forefathers established the electoral college based on each state’s total number of representatives plus two senators as their number to be totaled with all states which adds to 538 votes. The candidate obtaining over 50 percent (270) of the Electoral College votes wins the election. Their thinking was based on a concern that large populated areas would over shadow the desires and needs of most of the balance of the country.

Today the population pockets are even more pronounced than when they dealt with the issue.

To make the point and using the last presidential figures indicates using just popular vote would favor major city-states. These voting figures are all close approximates to actual as I found different sources varied slightly.

Using just Calififornia and New York, they produced almost 16 percent of the popular vote. Their total Electoral College votes is 84 or 31.1 percent of the 270 required . In both cases their percentage of votes influence the outcome in Presidential elections in greater proportion versus the desires and needs of all other states. To compound this, a total of six large states ( California,New York,Florida,Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania) have combined 71 percent of the 270 votes to elect the President.

All states except Maine and Nebraska award 100 percent of their electoral votes to the majority vote obtainer in their respective states. If you voted for a candidate other than your state’s majority winner then your vote no longer counts on the election of the President. We must make a change to use the balancing effect of the Electoral college system and not moving to a 100 percent popular vote which favors several large populated states.

The solution seems simple. Continue to use the Electoral College for the reasons first put forth when it was instituted. Change the awarding of 100 percent of each states Electoral votes to awarding each candidates percentage of the total vote. The states would report these individual by candidate votes as a percentage of their total electoral vote. Nationally by totaling all the states, the winner with the highest percentages would be determine winner of the election. Every one’s individual vote would count toward the final outcome. This is as it should be.

If you agree, I suggest contacting both state and national congressmen to request this change be made.

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.

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