Letter to the Editor: Spriggs

by Jerry Spriggs | 11/15/16 12:14am

The 2016 presidential election is finally behind us and many of us are surprised, some disappointed and others jubilant, with the results. Criticism of the Electoral College from both sides has become the bold new national sentiment. Surely it’s antiquated. Surely it must go. Surely we can do better.

And we can!

The Founding Fathers were not so terribly amiss as many may think. Sure, the nation is larger and more populated than it was in the late 1700s — but the Electoral College’s mechanism still works. So why did Hillary Clinton win a majority of popular votes but lose the election to Donald Trump?

The culprit is not the Electoral College itself. Rather, our stumbling arises out of the all-or-nothing approach the American political system takes when we tally the popular votes and convert them into the Electoral College’s votes. The Electoral College does not need to be replaced, but our approach to it should be.

“Equal voice voting” offers the best of solutions without requiring a Constitutional amendment. This new way of allocating votes is a simple formula that converts a state’s popular votes into proportional electoral votes that hew closely to the popular vote, does not disenfranchise voters, gives each state its independent voice, and honors the Founding Fathers’ intent all while simultaneously acknowledging the diverse cultures, peoples, values and priorities that comprise our country.

It’s time to initiate legislation on a state-by-state basis so our vote-capturing system elicits confidence that translates into continued pride in our country. The use of the Electoral College can be a source of exactly this kind of confidence if we simply modify how we count everyone’s vote, and equal voice voting is the best way to do this.

Jerry Spriggs

West Linn, OR