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The Electoral College serves a purpose
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To the Editor:

In reference to “LWV works to change the Electoral College” which appeared in the Tribune on Saturday, June 22, this article gives one opinion but ignores the history of – and the reasons for – the establishment of the Electoral College. First lets look at a couple of Ms. Peterick’s arguments.

She mentioned “typical battleground states.” The fact is that the number and the specific battleground states has varied over the years. In 2024 there were seven such states, in 2020 there were eight, in 2016 there were 11, in 2012 there were nine, in 2008 there were six, and so on. Although Kansas was never among these states, the truth is that the so-called “battleground states” cannot be considered fixed from one election cycle to the next. Additionally, the political climate in specific states may also change. California was at one time considered a Republican state; now it is primarily a Democrat state. Texas on the other hand was once a Democrat state, but now it is primarily Republican, although that may be shifting slowly again. At any rate, does it really matter that presidential candidates don’t make personal appearances in those states that may have already decided their historical preferences?

Ms. Peterick also cited examples of presidential candidates who won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote: Hillary Clinton (Democrat), Al Gore (Democrat), Grover Cleveland (Democrat), Samuel Tilden (Democrat), Andrew Jackson (unaffiliated but later a Democrat). I think I’m beginning to see a pattern that looks a little like sour grapes.

The framers of the Constitution labored exhaustively over a fair way to elect the president. At that time they feared two types of tyranny. First they feared the tyranny of the monarchy. They had rid the county of one king and didn’t want the presidency to become an American monarchy in itself, hence our strict separation of powers. The framers also feared the tyranny of the majority, which they believed could devolve into mob rule. The Electoral College was an inspired compromise that avoided pure democracy and reinforced our democratic republic, a concept which has served us well for nearly 250 years.

Ms. Peterick says, “We are a nation.”  In fact, we are 50 states, united in some respects, but individual in others. She maintains that only a select few states actually elect the president by way of the Electoral College. If she has her way, and the Electoral College is abolished, then only the most populace states will elect the president, primarily California, New York and Illinois. Please don’t fall into this trap. Urge your state legislators to resist the push to abolish the Electoral College. 

Bob Marsh

Great Bend