In his diatribe against the Electoral College (“Policy Wonk: Not all votes are created equal”), columnist Orlando Delogu comes across not as an astute public policy analyst, but a mere writer of partisan talking points to fortify his party’s wish to blame its sweeping election defeat on something other than a rejection of its policies.
The notion of “one person one vote” (that everyone’s vote should count equally) was never and is not now a constitutional principle in presidential elections. After a thorough examination of experiments in democracy throughout history and after extensive deliberation, the founding fathers expressly rejected the idea of electing a president based on a nationwide popular vote. They wisely gave us a republic, not a direct democracy.
Accordingly, the president is chosen by the states in separate state-by-state elections, after which each state has a weighted vote that is mostly, but not solely, based on population. One constitutionally fundamental principle here is that the states, not individual nationwide voters, choose the president. Another fundamental principle here is that the weighted vote is skewed to favor the smaller states in order to partly offset their population disadvantage.
These two basic constitutional principles make sense because the federal government was formed by agreement of the 13 original states, not directly by the people, and that’s why we call it the United States of America, not the “United People of America.”
Electoral College bashers like Delogu are attacking a core feature of the Constitution with meritless arguments and shortsighted partisan motives.
Robert D. King