Our View: Electoral College dropouts

DKS Editors

The Electoral College is an outdated way to decide a presidential election. The way to win should be by simply getting the most votes, not by obtaining electoral votes from each state.

With that in mind, we wish we could get behind a Republican plan to change the Electoral College, but it will only further break that broken institution that seems to derive from the redistricting. Occurred after the latest census, it allowed Republicans to retain their majority in the House of Representatives by a 234-201 margin, even though Democratic candidates received a million more votes than their Republican opposition. Now Republican-led state legislatures want to apportion their electoral votes in a similar way.

All but two states give all of their electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the popular vote. The other two give an electoral vote to the winner of each district, and two more to the winner of the popular vote. The Virginia state senate just voted in favor of becoming the third state to do this, but its plan has a twist.

Had that plan been in place in 2012, Mitt Romney would have won the electoral votes from seven Virginia districts, and President Obama would have won the other four. But the remaining two electoral votes would have gone to Romney for winning the most districts. So Obama, despite winning the state’s popular vote by a margin of 150,000, would have been obliterated in the electoral vote, 9-4.

Many Republican-controlled states are considering adopting this clearly unjust system. If all of them have their way, it would be possible for a Democratic candidate to win by 11 million votes and still lose the election.

It’s a blatant, indefensible attempt to secure an unfair advantage. So maybe it’s time for a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College before it gets damaged even further. The 2016 presidential race will be here before we know it; the clock is ticking.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.