Electoral process view questioned

Published 10:41 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2008

By Staff
In a recent column, “Alabama's leading political columnist” Steve Flowers, trashes the Electoral College as “antiquated and undemocratic.” He wants to elect the President of the United States by popular vote, a radical change of dubious legality which amounts to an end-run around the Constitution.
Under the scheme envisioned by Flowers, a candidate could be elected president with a majority of votes in only one region of the country. The Electoral College sought to prevent that. It was created to protect minorities and maintain a balance between large and small states and regional interest groups. The Founders were especially concerned about maintaining balance between agrarian and industrial interests and between Northern and Southern states. The Electoral College serves these purposes. Look at the 2000 election: George Bush narrowly lost the popular vote but carried 30 states to 20 for Al Gore, whose support was concentrated in densely populated metropolitan areas of the far west and northeast.
The Electoral College also favors smaller states like Alabama. George Bush won the combined votes of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia by a margin of just over 700,000, garnering 33 electoral votes. But in New York Gore took the popular vote by a margin of 1,700,000 - more than twice Bush's margin in AL, GA, and TN - and received 33 electoral votes.
Finally , a national popular vote system would further federalize presidential elections, stripping the states of important roles and saddling them with costs generated by a flood of litigation involved in a national recount of votes.
Bob McKee                                                                  
Former member of the
Alabama Legislature       
Wetumpka, AL