Letter To The Editor: The Electoral College
It has been said that people get the government they deserve. This may be true. Many Americans who are more interested in the performance of their sports teams than they are in their government. A democracy can't work unless citizens take part in it. They should take the time to learn about candidates' qualifications and evaluate issues. They should be concerned that all citizens should be able to vote and that everyone's vote should count. That is far from the case in the U.S. today. Even in presidential years voter turnout is abysmally low.
In the past it was worse. When the constitution was written only white property owning men could vote. Suffragettes traveled a long and painful road before women's right to vote became a reality in 1920. Constitutionally southern blacks had the right to vote but couldn't do so without risking their lives until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. Now the biggest obstacle to our being a true democracy is the Electoral College. When it was established by the Constitution it may have made some sense. Most of the electorate were farmers who were not well educated and had few means of knowing what was going on in the seats of government. Our founding fathers were not inclined to trust the common man with too much power. Until the seventeenth amendment was passed senators were elected by the legislatures of each state. That was changed, but we still have the Electoral Collage. In 2 of the last 5 elections the candidate who received most votes did not win the presidency. After the 2000 election when Al Gore received more votes than George Bush there was a lot of interest in making our country a true democracy. But nothing happened.
This time Hillary Clinton got significantly more votes than Donald Trump. Ohioans who marked their ballots for Hillary Clinton actually had them cast for Donald Trump. This is not democracy. There are ways of changing the Electoral College so that it would match the popular vote. These two times the Republicans have benefited from our unfair and outdated system. In the future the Democrats might be the beneficiaries. All patriotic citizens should insist that our country should be a true democracy.