This Letter to the Editor is solely the opinion of its author. It does not reflect the opinion of this newspaper. We intend to present messages from both sides of the aisle.
By Joshua Keller
Up until recently, if you asked someone if the electoral college should be changed or removed and a simple national popular vote to select the president put in its place, a large majority of people would agree. Many polls showing well over 60% approval. Unsurprisingly in our current political climate an issue that most people would support when asked under non-partisan circumstances has been hijacked for political gain.
The main argument from those that oppose a national popular vote is that it will give too much power to cities and rural Americans will be left out. First, why should someone who happens to live remotely get to have more of a say in who leads the nation than a person that chose to live in close proximity to others. We are all part of this nation, and the president is supposed to be for us all. There are other checks and balances that are actually meant to protect smaller states, it’s called the senate and specifics of the constitution that do so. With that said, the reality is that there are as many small-town and rural folks as there are suburbanites and city dwellers. Half the country can be defined as someone living in a five-mile radius of fewer than 100,000 people and the other half as those who live near more. Before you go saying a 100,000 is a lot of people, think of it this way, would you consider someone who lives in Greeley to be an urbanite. Using the previous definition, the residents of Greeley would fall into that category. A city of 100,000 people isn’t even ranked in the top 300 of most populous cities in the US. In the end, a popular vote would still advantage those in small towns and cities. It would just be all of them, especially the ones here in Colorado. It just isn’t true that elections will be decided by large cities or a few states; the numbers don’t add up.
The only other non-partisan argument that I’ve read is that it isn’t what the founding fathers intended. To that, they didn’t intend for us to vote for our senators, that was changed by an amendment. Secondly, they never indicated how states should allocate their electors; it was specifically stated that the states reserve that right; let’s find the best way. Then finally, several of the founders preferred a direct vote for the president.
The most feasible way to expand our democracy, respect the ideal of “We the people” and have a truly representative President is through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This is why I’m voting yes on Prop 113 and I urge my fellow Coloradoans to as well.