Legislation to change the way the electoral college works is a terrible idea

As reported in this paper (“Maryland bill would aim to speed up demise of the Electoral College,” Feb. 24), state Sen. Bill Ferguson has introduced a bill to change Maryland’s electoral votes to coincide with the presidential candidate that wins the popular vote provided another state does the same. This is a terrible idea that diminishes the power of small states in presidential elections and obstructs the original intent of the Constitution.

The electoral college prevents the larger populated areas of the nation from using their massive votes to dictate the outcome of all presidential elections. Without the Electoral College, candidates will never need to visit large swaths of the country as they concentrate solely on the coasts. Swing states would be obsolete, the very states that force candidates to sell their message to places other than the coasts.

Maryland, like all small population states, benefits from the Electoral College by giving our little state of 6 million more power in presidential elections. California has a large number of electoral votes, but California, with 10 percent of the nation’s population, can’t use those massive millions to roll over the small states. It protects the country from having a president from California or the Northeast win every election; that is a perfect example of the “tyranny of the majority.”

The Electoral College is rooted in the ideals of representative democracy whereby the government is once removed from the people. If one thinks direct elections are better, look no further than Brexit, where a direct referendum has created a disaster. The Electoral College and the Senate were reasons why many small states were willing to ratify the Constitution. It would be foolish for any small state to give away power, especially if the intention is predicated on political gain.

Dudley Thompson, Olney

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