Our View: Vote yes on Colorado Proposition 113
Whether it’s a strategy or a scapegoat, the Electoral College is a popular card for political parties to play at their own convenience. And if it is playable even in the slightest, are we doing good by American voters in keeping it?
Sure, the college’s biggest critics are currently those who lost the last election, but isn’t that always the case? During the 2012 election season, Donald Trump, in support of Mitt Romney, famously tweeted that the Electoral College “was a disaster for democracy.” He also tweeted, then later deleted, some more impassioned opinions on the subject that The Washington Post recorded before they disappeared from his feed.
Of course, President Trump’s attitude about the Electoral College later changed after he beat Hillary Clinton by winning 24% more electoral votes while losing the popular vote by 2%. By the way, which seems like the fairer fight: the 2% difference where every American vote was counted as one, or the 24% difference where every American vote was fragmented and manipulated by a system that has been scrutinized since its inception? One could argue the 2% difference in popular vote shows our country is less divided than what the Electoral College illustrates.
Furthermore, that same 2%, nearly 3 million popular votes, that could have hypothetically swung the 2016 election could have come from California or New York just like they could have come from 12 other states that also saw voter turnout greater than 3 million, eight of which voted red in 2016. Once again, the popular vote difference was only 2%; the claim that California and New York would run our elections under NPV is baseless fear-mongering, especially in a time and country where 249 million Americans were of voting age in 2016, and only 136 million showed up to the polls.
But voter turnout is also an issue that only the losing team complains about. So, let’s move on from 2016.
History … forefathers … let’s talk about those. History taught us long ago that this system could be played when late 1700s and early 1800s Virginia, the California electoral equivalent of its time, leveraged its slave population to gain the highest number of electoral votes. And even before its implementation, the idea of an Electoral College was hardly popular. The Founding Fathers were split on a popular vote because such a system lacked a frame of reference at the time of the Philadelphia Convention. So, the Electoral College was a compromise bred in uncertainty after months of debate. Centuries later, it’s still a debate, one that goes far deeper than some knee-jerk reaction to 2016.
Fast forward to 2019, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez famously retweeted and agreed with now-President Trump’s former stance on the Electoral College. This raises a burning question: Will AOC also change her mind on the subject if Biden wins the Electoral College in November?
Let’s stop the nonsense that our politicians have been feeding us, and make every vote count equally. Vote yes on Colorado Proposition 113.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd and Advertising Director Holli Snyder.
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