Electoral College editorial is hypocritical

Published Apr 27, 2013 at 05:00AM

Your editorial complains that the Oregon Legislature is trying an “end run around” the Electoral College by putting forth a bill pledging its electoral votes to the popular vote winner in the presidential election. That you think this is somehow a lousy idea strikes me as hypocritical.

In one of your recent editorials, you urged a referendum on a sales tax for Oregon. Why is a popular vote good enough for a sales tax, albeit on a state level, but not to elect a commander in chief?

In the last presidential election, there were about 10 states that were identified as swing states. Enormous amounts of money were thrown into ads and groundwork to try to win those electoral votes, while states that were overwhelmingly red or blue were, by comparison, ignored. A voter in Texas or New York is marginalized when the state electoral outcome is guaranteed. A national vote means all votes have meaning, and the PAC money probably wouldn’t be nearly as influential.

Even today, there are proposals in certain states to allocate electoral votes by district, the same way the House of Representatives is chosen. Not surprisingly, this is only being proposed in states that went Democratic in the presidential election but have Republican majorities in the state legislatures. Talk about gaming the system!

The will of the people is being ignored on many national issues, so how about the will of the people being considered at least for our president?

Alan Pachtman

Bend

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