It's time to retire the Electoral College

Wyoming, with 284,000 registered voters in 2016 and three electoral votes, is the smallest and most powerful voting block in the entire country with 94,667 voters per electoral vote. Compare that with Virginia’s 5,606,000 registered voters in 2016 and 13 electoral votes, or 431,231 voters per electoral vote, making the Wyoming vote more than 4.5 times more powerful than Virginia's.

So much for the argument of one man one vote.

When the country was young, the Electoral College made some sense because of the difficulty of communicating throughout the country, and it gave the Southern states a bit of parity with the larger populations of the Northern states. But, as we saw in 2000 and again in 2016, the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness.

With the advent of nearly instant communications across the country, there is no longer any need for an elected representative to travel to a distant city and cast a paper ballot more than a month after the votes are counted.

With the elimination of the Electoral College, another arcane bit of political theater, such as judges wearing powdered wigs and doormen in knee pants and stockings at the entrances to the Congressional chambers, would become a memory.

And when the country was young, there weren't millions of pieces of information in computer memories on the most intimate details of our lives. This data can be mined to predict how each citizen might vote to a very close prediction based on such diverse things as what restaurant you eat at most often, where you shop online and the kind of car you drive. These statistics allow our politicians to pick their constituents rather then the voter selecting their representatives, and not at all what the writers of the Constitution envisioned.

In 2010, Virginia's 3rd Congressional District’s footprint stretched from the east side of Norfolk to Central Richmond and packed most of the black votes in Eastern Virginia into one super-majority black district, leaving three other surrounding districts safely Republican. In 2016, the court overturned this mess and two Republican Congressmen retired rather then run in a competitive race.

If America throws out the Electoral College, then candidates for national office will have to appeal to all Americans and not those states where they can pick up 51 percent of a small population so as to skew the Electoral Vote.

In 2016, Trump won the Electoral College by winning three states by a combined total of about 41,000 votes while losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Not an example of one man one vote.

If America ever wants to achieve the dream of every vote being of equal importance, then we must consign the Electoral College to the history books along with crank phones, whale bone corsets and slave auctions. And, hopefully, the people running for national office would represent the vast middle ground of the population rather than an increasingly slimmer slice of the extreme edges.

WL Maner

Norge

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