March 24, 2009 - Save the Electoral College and Fix the Real Problem

The Washington Legislature is currently considering a bill (SB5599) to abolish the Electoral College in favor of direct popular vote. This is the kind of idea that sounds superficially good, but on further reflection will cause harm to our system of government. We rely on a delicate balance between very large and very small states to hold the union together. The Electoral College is a part of that balance, and has been from the beginning of the republic. It has worked well, with isolated instances of popular vote varying from the Electoral College results. It does not need to be fixed.

What will really move to fix the inequities we see in current national campaigning is the regional primary proposal from the National Association of Secretaries of State. The Rotating Regional Presidential Primaries plan allows each region to have a turn at being the first up in a presidential year. Coordinating primaries within a region will allow candidates to focus their message and spend time in smaller and less populous states. Supported unanimously by all 50 states, the plan is on line at http://www.nass,org/. This carefully thought out proposal addresses the underlying causes of perceived inequities and unfairness of the current system. National popular vote is a superficial reaction to a larger problem.

Urge you representatives to REJECT SB5599.