Weiland Ross: The Electoral College protects democracy

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Mahogany boxes containing the electoral certificates of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. These ceremonial mahogany ballot boxes have been used since 1877.

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Weiland Ross, a resident of Sunderland.

The recurring proposals that endorse eliminating or subverting the Electoral College by some kind of “interstate compact” is a bad proposal for many reasons. The Electoral College is necessary to help preserve our democracy.

RELATED: Sen. Pearson discusses proposal to undermine the Electoral College system for Vermont

The Founders created a federal republic with a Bill of Rights to guarantee individual liberties. The word ‘federal’ meant, and still means, a union of states. The word ‘state’ was, and is, a synonym for ‘country’ or ‘nation’. There were, in 1783, 13 sovereign states. This did not work out well, and in 1787 these states agreed to give up their sovereignty and form a federal union. ‘Republic’ is a term which means government by representatives, not direct rule of the people. Our republic chooses representatives by free elections, as opposed to some republics (i.e., China or Russia) where the representatives are appointed without input from the voters.

Our Constitution bases its authority on the first three words: “We the people” who ordain this. The mechanism established for the people to ordain the Constitution was to act through representatives of the individual states. When George Washington was sworn in as first president, there were only 11 states. Rhode Island and North Carolina had not joined yet.

What the Founders feared most was a tyranny or a dictatorship by a majority that could and would abuse power against minority opinions and ignore the interests of weaker states. The Electoral College is an attempt to prevent this kind of dictatorship. It is rare that our elections are won by a landslide vote for one party. In elections where there are more than two candidates there is normally no majority vote. Lincoln got 38%, Wilson got 40%, Truman got 40%, and Clinton got 40%. Because the voters gave a plurality of votes to a candidate that person got the electoral votes for a state. The Electoral College chooses the president and prevents the need for an endless series of run-off elections or some other kind of do-over. It serves its purpose well. We should not abandon or subvert the the Electoral College. It protects us from a dictatorship by a majority of voters; it preserves the existence and integrity of each state, regardless of the state’s size or wealth.

Finally, things change. “Blue” states are not always blue. “Red”states are not always red. The possibility that a state may not be permanently committed to one party is a probability. What would anyone’s reaction be if their state voted for a candidate only to be forced to cast their Electoral votes to the other person? Where is the democracy in that scenario? No state should ever be put into a situation that would allow their honest opinion to be arbitrarily overruled.

Preserving the Electoral College as it exists is the only way to keep our elections representative of each state’s preferences. It is our guarantee against dictatorship by a majority.

Image courtesy of Public domain

4 thoughts on “Weiland Ross: The Electoral College protects democracy

  1. If the popular vote would determine the outcome of national elections, instead of the Electoral College, there would forever be only one political party, i.e., Dem/Progs.

    The USSR, rich in natural resources, tried one-party rule, and it ended in disaster, and a lot of poverty and suffering by the people, due to coercions, and the economy not being able to produce, world-class, competitive goods and services.

  2. Cancel Culture to be applied to the Electoral College?

    Sen Pearson, et al., are cleverly engaging is wishful fantasizing.
    He is trying to disingenuously second-guess the FOUNDING FATHERS

    The US Constitution specifically states, each state legislature has the CONSTITUTIONAL power to select the state ELECTORS; Vermont is entitled to 3 ELECTORS.

    State Legislatures are not allowed to delegate that power to any entities, including the Secretary of State and the Governor. Such transfer would be unconstitutional.

    The US constitution does not make any mention of popular votes.

    The US Constitution does not mention any restrictions on state Legislatures regarding the exercise of their power to select ELECTORS.

    That means, no matter the outcome of a popular vote, the Legislatures have the power to appoint ELECTORS.

    Heeding the outcome of a popular vote is strictly at the discretion of the Legislature.

    That means, no matter the outcome of a popular vote, the Legislatures have the power (conferred onto them by the US Constitution) to SELECT AND APPOINT ELECTORS, i.e., not the Secretary of State, not any kind of Executive Branch boards, not the Governor.

    What parts of the US Constitution and Vermont State Constitution does Sen. Pearson not understand?

    Does he not know the US is a REPUBLIC consisting of 50 SOVEREIGN STATES THAT FORMED A UNION?

    At one point in the 1700s, Vermont called itself “Republic of Vermont”.

    • Sen. Pearson took an oath of office to uphold the US and State Constitutions.

      Undermining these Constitutions, while in office, would be equivalent to breaking a sacred oath, which is punishable by law.

      He must first resign, then proceed to undermine the Constitutions.

      He cannot remain a Senator, while actively undermining the Constitutions he has sworn to uphold.

      Why is no one else calling him on this?
      Are folks brain dead, or just brain washed?

  3. This is why we have to stop listening to all the Progressives saying we are a democracy. Or “our democracy” when we are really a Constitutional Representative Republic. Instead of teaching Woke History in our schools we should be teaching Republicanism and how our Republic works. Most people jump on the band wagon of getting rid of the electoral college from a bumper sticker Commiecrats but don’t even understand how the electoral college works or why it was put in place. If the do understand how it works and still has the position of getting rid of it then you are dealing with a communist who is trying to destroy our country I suggest reading The 5000 Year leap by W. Cleon Skousen as the text book. What isn’t taught isn’t learned.

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