Electoral College Adds Conflict to Elections

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Dear Editor:

My thanks to Charles Landis of Onancock for his response in the Dec. 25 issue of the ES Post on the subject of the Electoral College (EC). I would only point out that the sole purpose of the EC is to select the best persons for the offices of the President and Vice President of the United States.

The EC has nothing to do with protecting minorities be they social, political or economic. As such, the EC was intended to operate much like the jury in a major capital crimes case.

Prospective jurors are chosen from the general population to perform an important one-time service to society. They are screened by the courts to ensure that they are qualified, unbiased, have no personal interest or involvement in the case, and are willing to honestly consider the evidence so that when sequestered at the end of the trial they can arrive at the best possible verdict.

Unlike a trial jury that is expected to render a unanimous vote or risk being a “hung jury,” the Electors in the EC are sequestered in private in their respective States to discuss the merits/demerits of those persons nationally recognized as potentially fit for these highest Offices in the land. At the end of their deliberations in College, each Elector would make their individual choices for President and Vice President. These ballots would be sealed and then transmitted to Congress for tally on the appointed day.

All of this was intended to reduce or eliminate public tumult, political intrigue, special interest corruption and foreign interference in the selection of the U.S. President and Vice President.

As practiced today, however, the EC accomplishes none of these intended goals. Not only do we suffer the contention and tumult of the general election process, we have the added conflict and tumult of the EC process where the EC result can countermand the popular general election results — and has in practice. Rather than quiet the public mind, the EC inflames passions and conflict while protecting only the interests of those who control the Republican and Democratic Parties. It’s time to put an end to the EC as a failed experiment.

For those interested in information supplemental to Mr. Hamilton’s Federalist #68, I recommend lecture #13 from Columbia College Chancellor James Kent’s Commentaries on American Law (1826-1830) along with Sections 1448-1470 of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833); both easily found online.

Brian Bloedel, Accomac