Letter to the Editor: Electoral College Serves Necessary Purpose

Posted: October 19, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Editor’s note: The following letter was received in response to the article, “What George Mason Experts Are Saying about…the Electoral College,” in the Sept. 30, 2004, issue of the Daily Gazette.

To the Editor:

Once again our ears have fallen victim to another foe of the Electoral College, who, like most other opponents, supposes that a national popular vote should decide the U.S. president. Even more disappointing were the reasons Dr. Pfiffner offered that explain why people like the Electoral College.

Unfortunately, Dr. Pfiffner failed to recognize the strongest argument that favors the Electoral College: the current system gives each state the same weight in the presidential election as it has in Congress (ignoring [Washington,] D.C.’s situation). Congress was designed, in no small part, to ensure that less populated states would have certain protections against states with much greater populations and that states would also have representation reflecting their population. A foundation on which our nation exists is this congressional voice that each state has in matters that affect the entire nation. Since the U.S. presidency is an entity that influences the entire nation, states cannot have their voices dissolved in a national popular vote. Individual states created this nation and it is impossible to take away their power to choose their president while maintaining the principles of the government they created. The U.S. government can make no decision based on the popular will of the nation. It is the people of the states who speak before anything federal can happen.

It is true, however, that sending electors to cast the presidential vote is now unnecessary and that several original intentions of the Electoral College are antiquated. In light of this, the Electoral College could rightly be scrapped so long as each state maintains its congressional weight in the presidential election.

Matt Ewald

mewald@gmu.edu

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