Magazine article The New American

Electoral College in Peril?

Magazine article The New American

Electoral College in Peril?

Article excerpt

This November, Colorado voters will consider Amendment 36, a measure that would make that state the first in the union to allocate electoral votes proportionately according to the popular vote. If approved, Amendment 36 would go into effect immediately, and would likely have a dramatic impact on this year's presidential election, since the Electoral College doesn't meet to elect the president until December. Had the measure been in place in 2000, "Democrat Al Gore would have earned enough electoral votes to go to the White House," noted an August 17 AP report.

At present, all states but two practice the winner-take-all arrangement. Nebraska and Maine each grant two electoral votes to the winner, with the remaining electoral college votes cast according to the winner of each congressional district. The Constitution grants to each state plenary authority to decide the method of allotting electoral votes.

Critics of Amendment 36 contend, with reason, that the measure was promoted by partisan Democrats angered by the 2000 presidential election outcome. "Although there are legitimate criticisms to make of the Electoral College, the Colorado effort is nothing but a transparently partisan effort to give Kerry a couple of extra electoral votes," complained Human Events. "If the election this year is as close as the polls suggest that it will be, it could mean the margin of victory."

In fact, it is the winner-take-all system--not the Electoral College itself--that is liable to legitimate criticism. …

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