-- ALAN J. TINDELL, Richland
The Electoral College is absolutely essential to ensure that candidates for the presidency run as national candidates. Without it, we risk the possibility that multiple candidates would run, divide the vote several ways and a strictly regional candidate could win with a decided minority of the vote. Bill Clinton did not win more than 50 percent of the vote in either 1992 or 1996 because Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate and siphoned off some of the vote, although he didn't win any electoral votes. Despite polling less than half the popular vote Clinton still won convincingly in the Electoral College. But what if say half a dozen prominent, serious candidates ran as independents and the split the vote relatively equally? A person could be elected president with as little as 17 percent of the popular vote. The Electoral College ensures that no one can ever win the presidency with such a minority vote. The Electoral College also ensures that the large states such as California, New York, Illinois, Texas and Florida will not dominate the smaller states.