Fast Focus: Technology has changed us

November 18, 2012 

The Electoral College should be dissolved. It is outdated and does not truly represent the way most Americans want to choose their president. State legislators, not voters, have more control over choosing the electors. Only 29 of the 50 states have bound their electors with oaths or pledges, however, these don't really prevent an elector from voting for his or her own personal favorite. The founding fathers did create the Electoral College , but the winner-take-all system was not used, as it is today. The argument could be made that we are currently misusing the Electoral College as it was intended to be used.

The effect of the Electoral College (used in conjunction with the winner-take-all method) is to nullify any ambiguity or competition within a state. An election is a competition, by definition. If the Electoral College is just going to prevent competition from taking place by suppressing all but one candidate, are we really having a fair competition? Isn't it enough that the two-party system we currently have suppresses most competition before the Electoral College gets involved?

In this day and age of high-speed communication and instant feedback, our society no longer needs proxies to vote for our leaders. Technology enables us (in theory) to vote directly for the president and vice-president without a long, tedious ballot-counting process or similar, as would've been necessary in, say, the 1790s. Also because of communication technology, voters can become much more informed about the candidates and the issues, which was a problem specifically discussed by the Founding Fathers and addressed by the creation of the Electoral College .

By dissolving the Electoral College, we weaken the hold that overly extreme, choice-suppressing two-party politics have on our political system. The stage can now be cleared to introduce things like approval voting or score voting, which are better ways to directly represent the broad spectrum of views and opinions among voters. An election decided without the Electoral College will be truly representative of the Land of Opportunity.

-- BEN GARCIA, Richland

Undecided

I have heard this argument about getting rid of the Electoral College in favor of the public count and I can't tell for sure which one I think is fairest. Electoral College tends to even the numbers so highly populated states don't overwhelm smaller ones in number count. If we truly believe "one man, one vote" and every vote counts then we go to the total of the individual votes and 50 point plus is the winner. The problem that worries me most is fraudulent counts. We don't have a really accurate count because there are just too many ways fraud can creep into the system.

-- JIM FOSTER, Kennewick

Voting equalizes

Yes, we should scrap the Electoral College.

I've heard it said, that "the voting booth is the great equalizer."

In the eyes of the American political system, a homeless man can stand next to a millionaire, (who himself may be standing next to a billionaire), and each be seen as equals.

There isn't much I'd call sacred, but the voting booth, this "holy of holies" is one. Presidents (former, and acting), CEOs, congressmen, generals and admirals have equal say to you or I. Except when we elect our president, here our votes do not matter.

-- D. L. (ANDY) ANDERSON, Richland

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