Jul 2, 2017 - Joe McKethen, RivertonEditor:
First, after listening to so much rhetoric about the Electoral College after the 2016 presidential election, I decided to research the history of the electoral college. Having done the research, many interesting things that accompanied the history of the college were three items of particular interest.
1. Eleven of the largest states, voting one way or another, could decide the outcome of a
2. Twelve of the smallest states have six or fewer electoral votes. (Wyoming is one of those.)
3. Researching elections back through 1964 it was found that only once, in 2004, were the electoral votes of one of the smallest states needed to decide an election.
The original Electoral College began when the Constitution was established in 1789 and was later replaced when deemed to be unworkable. That document was replaced and ratified by Congress in the
12th amendment in 1804 and is still in use today.
With only around 4 million people in the U.S. in 1804, couldn't it be assumed that the astute, intelligent members of Congress who ratified the 12th amendment in 1804 could not possibly have envisioned nearly 400 million in 2017? One of the many interesting parts of the Electoral College in 1804 was that only white males owning property were allowed to vote.
More than 90 million eligible voters did not -- I repeat, did not -- vote in the 2016 presidential election. It is quite possible that most of those not voting did not vote because they might have felt their vote was not going to count simply because parties controlling the larger states would determine the outcome.
Should Americans be considering changing the outdated 12th Amendment?
Another point for serious consideration for the American people would be to find a way to eliminate political parties altogether. After reading about and taking part in every election since FDR, I cannot recall, up through George H.W. Bush's election, so much ridiculous blaming by one party or the other. Perhaps there was some blaming going on, but nothing like this in my memory.
There may be no way to eliminate the constant blaming by the Democrats or Republicans for the failures of anything that does not go as either party thinks it should go, but if only we could find a way.
Is it time to start considering the elimination of political parties and elect presidents and congressional men and women by a simple majority of the total votes cast by all voters?
Maybe, with no political parties, the elected officials would not feel the obligation to vote along his or her party lines. The elected persons can then vote the way each feels is best for the people of the United States of America.
Perhaps all issues, particularly the very important issues, could then be decided in a rational way, instead of using caustic innuendos toward anyone not voting their way.
After the primaries of the 2016 election it is clear campaigns for all levels of elected of@257;cials will be changed considerably in the future. Such things as false news, electronic communications and general rhetoric will in@258;uence nearly every citizen when thinking of a candidate to choose.
It is quite possible that by the time the mid-term elections of 2018 arrive, it will be very difficult to believe what is heard or read it during a campaign.
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