Outraged by Trump, but getting rid of Electoral College not the answer

To the editor:

I want to respond positively to Roger Baumann’s defense of the Electoral College in his letter to the editor in the May 23 Independent, though I am outraged by Mr. Trump and the thoughtless chaos he has wrought over the past two plus years. His reign is definitely not “perfect”…But he too shall pass. Hopefully when he leaves most of us will have an increased appreciation for the checks and balances built into our Constitutional system preventing one-man rule.

The most important reason to keep the Electoral College is to nearly always be able to declare a Presidential winner on election night. Elections have been close. It is essential that they be decisive without a protracted recount process.

Remember the Senatorial standoff here between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The vote was a dead heat and the careful recount needed to confirm a winner took months. The same situation in a presidential race requiring a nationwide recount would be a total disaster and a Constitutional crisis. The Bush-Gore contest came down to resolving who won in Florida. Al Gore and we Democrats went gently into the night after a quick Supreme Court decision. That decision was controversial enough. Litigating every state as would be required if the national vote were too close to call under one-person one-vote would lead to a Gordian Knot catastrophe.

The Electoral College as it exists makes it essential to run a true nationwide campaign to seize the prize. I like that. Republicans: If you give up on New York and California, you have to run the board elsewhere to win. That’s risky long-term. From a Democra”s perspective, it’s obvious we need Heartland support for a win. Both parties need to do a better job developing a nationwide constituency.

Also, I would recommend readers check the on-line comments following Mr. Baumann’s letter. They are spirited, generally thoughtful, and entertaining.

Tom Runholt

Marshall

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