AP NEWS

Be cautious on voting change

February 24, 2017 GMT

Be cautious on voting changeThere has been much recent discussion about fairness, and changing the system of voting in federal elections.Proposals include awarding each state’s electors to the winner of the national popular vote, or completely abandoning the electoral college in favor of a national popular vote.Either would eliminate Electoral College provisions that provide some equality for less populous states like Connecticut, allowing states like California and New York to dominate and determine the winner.In fact, the current practice of awarding electors as winner-take-all guarantees that minority party voters in each state will have absolutely no impact on the outcome, discouraging them from voting at all, and drastically skewing the tally of the “popular vote.” This is the real problem that needs to be addressed.The most equitable solution would have each state award electors to the candidates in proportion to the percentage of votes they received in that state. Already the practice in two states, the result would more closely represent the people’s desires, while retaining provision for smaller and less populous states to be fairly represented.The result of allocating electors using proportional award would be very different from the current winner-take-all method. It would likewise differ from a national popular vote, as smaller states would retain their senatorial balance votes.However, mixing these in an election would still likely result in a few larger states determining the outcome, disregarding voters in the other states.Remember, any solution will outlast one election cycle, and may have long-term unintended consequences.Craig WorleyStratford