Letters to the Editor

Why not use popular vote to elect presidents?

Why do we use the Electoral College to elect presidents? Why not go with the popular vote?

The president’s chosen by 538 electors representing 50 states; it takes 270 electoral votes to elect a president. This process is spelled out in the Constitution.

Why didn’t the founders let the popular vote elect a president? The answer’s critical to understanding the Electoral College and America. The founders had no intention of creating a pure majority-ruled democracy. History has proven pure democracies do not work; they implode. It can best be explained by two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Guess who gets eaten? In a pure democracy bare majorities can easily tyrannize the rest of the country. The founders knew this.

Every state has the same number of Electoral College members assigned to each political party according to the population of the state. If winning was about getting the most votes the candidates would try to win the states with the largest population and cities Why would the candidates bother winning lesser populated states like Wyoming, Montana, etc.? The founders knew if simple majorities elected a president, then states with the largest cities at that time would have elected the president. Boston, Philadelphia, New York and the rest of the 13 states would have had little to say about it. Today would have been the same. America is a large country with many diverse opinions and ideas, and all should be given a voice in something as important as a presidential election.

Garland J. Horn, Granite City

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