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Letter: Electoral College protects small states

Without the Electoral College the six largest population states could elect the president by themselves.

Published on February 13, 2018 1:44PM


Thank goodness for the amazing foresight our founding fathers had in designing our government. Today, we are often much too short-sighted. Such is the case with the effort by some, including some Oregon legislators, to eliminate the Electoral College.

One argument is that it is “undemocratic.” Well, the founders intended that. John Adams and others were concerned about a “tyranny of the majority.” That’s why we rely on several “undemocratic” institutions to protect our most basic Constitutional rights and civil liberties. The Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate are “undemocratic” institutions. Amending the Constitution requires three-quarters of the states with no popular vote at all. “Undemocratic,” yet wise.

Does the Electoral College favor one party over the other? Not in my 92 years. Over my lifetime Democrats have held the White House 48 years and Republicans for 44. One thing the Electoral College has done extremely well is to ensure that every state matters in a presidential election. Without the Electoral College the six largest population states could elect the president by themselves.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the selfless genius those founding fathers put into the design of our republic. Nothing was by accident. Sometimes that genius is obscured by the politics of the moment. But these short-term frustrations should not rob us of this protective tapestry of checks and balances that have served us so well for over 240 years.

Liz VanLeeuwen

Halsey, Ore.



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