Archived Story

Is electoral college the best system?

Published 11:00pm Friday, October 26, 2012

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was in Alabama today, raising $1 million in his stop in Huntsville.

And while he was quick to praise the state – and even offer a “Roll Tide” to Bama fans – Ryan also was honest enough to acknowledge that the funds raised here won’t be used to promote Republican candidates in Alabama.

That’s because the money raised these days will help fund campaign ads in key battleground states – like Ohio or Florida – instead of “red” or “blue” states.

And while Alabama is most likely to vote overwhelming in support of the GOP presidential ticket on Nov. 6, the election will be decided by a handful of battleground states with significant numbers of electoral college votes – enough votes to swing the decision.

That’s the flaw with our system. One candidate can win the majority of the popular vote but, because electoral college votes vary from state to state, another candidate can win the election simply by winning a “big” state like Ohio.

And that is frustrating for folks in states like Alabama or Mississippi.

Some cried for change after the 2000 presidential election, where a handful of votes determined who won Florida and, in turn, the presidency. And, depending on how the Nov. 6 vote is cast, we may face a similar issue based on votes cast in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

At some point, our nation needs to consider if the electoral college is the best, and most fair, system for protecting our democracy and electing our president.

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