Letter to the Editor: All for Naught! Elections, Electoral College

OPINION — As we all know our own personal vote for the president actually means nothing. It is only by the vote of the chosen Electoral College members who ultimately determine the president.

The Electoral College members represent the “populace” of a state area as according to the last census.

The Problem: California overwhelms a majority of other states with its huge 55 electoral votes (Utah 6) according to the last census. The census is not a representation of valid citizens or voting eligible persons. It represents only the persons or “populace living” in that state, not the “voters.”

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With the HUGE influx of illegal persons living in California and in many other states, they present a very powerful vote for the seemingly the greater Santa Claus, the Democratic Party. And with their vote they overwhelm and negate many other efforts.

Therefore, essentially to win California is to win the election and disregards all other forms of presidential efforts by many other candidates.

The solution to possibly offset this gross flaw and misrepresentation of our citizenry would be to change the qualifications of an electoral member to represent only the “voters” and not the bulging “populace” a of a state(s) overrun with aliens. This would tend to even out the playing field from an egregious misrepresentation and takeover by aliens.

Or, change to a popular vote system.

Otherwise, all of this pre-election hype by all candidates as to who will be president means nothing. Likely, only the Democrats and their give-away candidate will win the presidency.

At this early stage in the presidential election, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to modify more precisely the true intent of the Electoral College qualification of an electoral representative to represent the legal “voters,” rather than the “populace” of a given area. Illegal persons should have NO sway in the outcome of this election. Otherwise, do we give away our great country?

Submitted by Dave Olpin, Brigham Young University Alumni Emeritus, Provo

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them; they do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News.

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8 Comments

  • BIG GUY October 31, 2015 at 10:00 am

    This is a very naïve view of our electoral process. Winning California hardly assures a successful presidential election: Al Gore won California by over a million votes in both 2000 and 2004. The Electoral College gives a disproportionately greater weight to smaller states where Republicans tend to do better than Democrats. By contrast, a pure popular vote would tend to favor Democrats: Al Gore would have been elected handily in 2000. Utah in particular does better with the Electoral College: a higher proportion of our citizens are under age 18 and hence non-voters, but are counted when determining representation in the House. Be careful what you wish for.
    .
    All aliens, legal and illegal, are not allowed to vote. I’m sure that some do in many locations and all citizens should be offended when this happens. But don’t look to Obama’s Justice Department to enforce voting laws: its track record shows continued favoritism toward traditional Democrat constituents, e.g. the failure to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated Philadelphia voters in 2008 with billy clubs and racial slurs.

    • otto November 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      A survey of Utah voters showed 70% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

      Now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state, are wasted and don’t matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

      Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states. 80% of states and voters are ignored by presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits. Their states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.

      State winner-take-all laws negate any simplistic mathematical equations about the relative power of states based on their number of residents per electoral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, or to presidents once in office.

      In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

      In 2012, 24 of the nation’s 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions after Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee on April 11. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

      The 12 smallest states are totally ignored in presidential elections. These states are not ignored because they are small, but because they are not closely divided “battleground” states.

      Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections.

      Similarly, the 25 smallest states have been almost equally noncompetitive. They voted Republican or Democratic 12-13 in 2008 and 2012.

      Voters in states that are reliably red or blue don’t matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

      Kerry won more electoral votes than Bush (21 versus 19) in the 12 least-populous non-battleground states, despite the fact that Bush won 650,421 popular votes compared to Kerry’s 444,115 votes. The reason is that the red states are redder than the blue states are blue. If the boundaries of the 13 least-populous states had been drawn recently, there would be accusations that they were a Democratic gerrymander.

      Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group

      Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.

  • BIG GUY October 31, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Oops, John Kerry in 2004.

  • vantayl50 October 31, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I am shocked that the BYU alumni have not received sufficient training about the Constitution of the United States and the purpose of the Electoral College. Let me then explain. The framers of the Constitution were afraid that the little states (Utah) would be overwhelmed by the population of the big states (California), therefore they developed the system of having the population be represented by the House of Representatives and the states be represented by the Senate. At the time, blacks were not considered “human”. The North didn’t want them to be counted at all because they were slaves, and the South wanted them to be counted as a whole person. A compromise was reached. Each black was counted as 3/5 of a person, because, in spite of not being “human”, they were part of the population. The matter of representation in the senate was called the Great Compromise, and is the reason that this great republic came into existence. This provided a “middle ground” so that all might feel represented properly. In order that both large states and small states could feel that the President of the United States would be properly elected, the Electoral College was developed so that BOTH the large populations AND the small states could have a voice. Now, “illegal aliens” are not considered “human” by many. Maybe we should go back to the Constitution and count each of these “not-human” illegal aliens as 3/5 of a person. The Electoral College provides that each state has one vote per representative plus one vote per senator. This system gives Utah a LARGER VOICE per registered voter than California in the presidential election. Utah also has many “not-human” illegal aliens living within our borders, but not as many as California. The census which is performed every ten years doesn’t do a perfect job of counting everyone (including the not-human illegal aliens) , but it does the best job that is humanly possible. I, personally, am afraid of going to a system where only white males that own property (registered voters) are represented in the election of the President as was once the case. Supreme Court Law leaves us with the impression that even “not-humans” need to be represented, even if only partially. Granted our current system is not perfect, but when the whole picture is considered, is the best we could hope for. Here’s one vote for, “leave the system alone”, “don’t worry be happy”, and “it’s going to all come out in the wash”.

    • otto November 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Utah has 6 electoral votes. California (that was not a state at the time of the writing of the Constitution) has 55.
      Both are politically irrelevant in presidential elections.

      The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. 80% of states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

      State winner-take-all laws negate any simplistic mathematical equations about the relative power of states based on their number of residents per electoral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, or to presidents once in office.

      In 2004,
      Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.
      Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).
      8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

      In 2012, 80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential election. That’s more than 85 million voters, more than 200 million Americans.

      In 2012, more than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the only ten competitive states. There are only expected to be 7 remaining swing states in 2016.

      Issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them.

      Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just the 12 swing states. The few campaign offices in the 38 remaining states were for fund-raising, volunteer phone calls, and arranging travel to battleground states.

      Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections

      Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

      “Battleground” states receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

  • .... October 31, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT

  • McMurphy October 31, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    How about counting only white male property owners over the age of 21 ?

  • otto November 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    An election for President based on the nationwide popular vote would eliminate the Democrat’s advantage arising from the uneven distribution of non-citizens.

    States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election.

    The National Popular Vote bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to decide how they award their electoral votes for president. It would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80%+ of the states, like Utah, that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The National Popular Vote bill would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

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