What Do You Think?

April 15, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week's poll question was: What do you think of Maryland's approval of a plan to give its electoral votes for president to the winner of the national popular vote instead of the candidate chosen by state voters?

"It sounds like a scheme of the Democrats that could backfire on them if it becomes law, but a lot more states have to adopt it first, which is doubtful. It's really ridiculous. What would be the point of voting at all in Maryland if our votes were given to the candidate with the most votes nationwide? Or am I missing something here?"

"This is a dangerous idea. We live in a Constitutional Republic based on democracy, BUT IT'S NOT a pure democracy. A pure democracy in the U.S. would give an unfair advantage to urban areas over rural areas. We wouldn't have a president; we would end up with a dictator because a national referendum puts the president above every other branch. This is why electors in the college cast their votes to reflect the majority in their state. Weak states have a place under the electoral system that wouldn't exist otherwise. By casting all of a state's votes one way, gives every state the importance it was meant to have."


"What I don't like about the Electoral College is that despite what the voters are saying at the polls, if the elector doesn't agree, they can CHANGE THEIR MINDS AND CAST THEIR VOTE WITH THE OTHER PARTY. This little measure will change that, but it also means that if this state were to go Democrat at the polls (which it traditionally does), and the popular vote-getter is a Republican (see last election), then all the votes in this state go to the very person the MAJORITY doesn't want! Better idea: Abolish the ... Electoral College! We live in an age of electronics. We can have a one-man (or woman), one-vote election and it not take weeks to tally. The whole purpose in having the Electoral College in the first place was to group the votes into smaller figures so that we wouldn't be weeks trying to determine who the (commander in chief) was."

"Honestly, the Democrats usually try to do things to benefit them, but in this case I think this move would benefit the Republicans. This state usually goes Democratic, so the Republicans may end up with a better shot to get this state with this idea."

"Is this even Constitutional? The founding fathers did it this way for a reason. While I agree initially about counting each vote, can you imagine what a recount would be like if the entire nation had to be recounted in a close election? I don't think politicians should be allowed to just toss aside the way our government was set up by the founding fathers just to suit their own needs. Where are the attorneys on this one?"

"Our founding fathers wisely established the electoral college form of electing a president. Now, we have folks who think they are smarter than the great men whose system they are trying to change, but the names of those who are pushing this idea will not go down in history as did our founders'. They'll more than likely be forgotten along with their ill-conceived attempt to restructure our constitutional democratic Republic. I'd like to know how our local legislators voted on this. It would be an indication of how well they understand our system of government."

"Basically this disenfranchises my vote for president. The Maryland popular vote is small enough to be gobbled up by the larger cities and population centers. The idea won't fly because of the rule that x number of states must also do the same as Maryland. The smaller states have overrepresentation in the electoral college and would not relinquish that power. I would agree to a policy where a state could divide the electoral votes by the winner of congressional districts and the two votes left over would go to the state winner."

"The risk for voter fraud would also dramatically increase if you did not use the Electoral College. We all saw how difficult it was to do a recount in Florida. Imagine if you had to do a recount of the entire nation in a close election?"

"Florida didn't have those Diebold machines, either. They had the equivalent of a hole puncher. Diebolds have already caused more problems with voting than the old-fashioned secret ballot. They aren't tamper-proof, evident by someone getting 11K in votes in a town with a population of 8K. However, we have to face the fact that when the Constitution was penned, even Ben Franklin couldn't imagine the space-age stuff we have now. It was a good idea when it first started, back in the days when it took weeks to get a note from Philadelphia to Atlanta. Now that we can give you the popular vote totals as they happen (see last election), then the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness. One man/woman, one vote. Make our system truly reflect the will of the people."

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