The New York Times is calling for an end to the Electoral College.
Americans would prefer by overwhelming majorities to elect a president using a popular vote system, the newspaper’s editorial board said in a piece published Monday.
“They understand, on a gut level, the basic fairness of awarding the nation’s highest office on the same basis as every other elected office — to the person who gets the most votes,” the editorial said.
“Yes, Mr. Trump won under the rules,” the editorial said, “but the rules should change so that a presidential election reflects the will of Americans and promotes a more participatory democracy.”
The Times called the Electoral College a “living symbol of America’s original sin.”
“When slavery was the law of the land, a direct popular vote would have disadvantaged the Southern states, with their large disenfranchised populations,” the Times said.
“Counting those men and women as three-fifths of a white person, as the Constitution originally did, gave the slave states more electoral votes.”
Now, the Electoral College system “tips the scales in favor of smaller states.”
The Times proposed a solution, saying the Constitution establishes the Electoral College but lets the states decide how to tell the electors to vote.
“Eleven states and the District of Columbia, representing 165 electoral votes, have already passed legislation to have their electors vote for the winner of the national popular vote,” The Times said.
“The agreement, known as the National Popular Vote interstate compact, would take effect once states representing a majority of electoral votes, currently 270, signed on. This would ensure that the national popular-vote winner would become president.”
By using a popular vote system, all Americans would be treated equally, the editorial said.
“The system as it now operates does a terrible job of representing the nation’s demographic and geographic diversity,” the piece said.
“It’s hard to understand,” the paper said, “why the loser of the popular vote should wind up running the country.”
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