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Let majority rule and override Electoral College | READER COMMENTARY

A look at the time (all are in CST) and date each state was called for by the Associated Press for a candidate, either Democrat Joe Biden or Republican incumbent Donald Trump, and the running total of Electoral College votes for each.
A look at the time (all are in CST) and date each state was called for by the Associated Press for a candidate, either Democrat Joe Biden or Republican incumbent Donald Trump, and the running total of Electoral College votes for each. (Kori Rumore/Chicago Tribune)

The Joe Biden and Kamala Harris team needs to be a fix-it administration, which is periodically necessary. Obviously, protecting the lives and health of all Americans, fixing our damaged economy, addressing climate change and insuring racial justice are each urgent and important fixes that must start on Day 1. But so is it critically important to continually protect and improve our democracy by fixing those things that are clearly out of whack.

For example, every elementary school child in America knows that at the end of a baseball game, the team with the most runs wins. They also know with absolute certainty that whoever gets the most votes in school is entitled to be class president. So why doesn’t the world’s most powerful democracy do what every schoolchild knows is the simplest, most fair and democratic way — allow the person who gets the most votes be president (“Presidents should be picked by popular vote,” Nov. 9)?

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Over the last 28 years, there have been eight presidential elections. The Democratic candidate won the most votes seven times, the Republican candidates won the most votes once. But under old anachronistic Electoral College rules, the reality is that on two occasions (2000 and 2016) the candidate who won the most votes lost the election.

The simplest way to correct this obvious undemocratic flaw is to use the Electoral College to abolish the Electoral College. A nonpartisan organization called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has helped 15 states and the District of Columbia require their electors to vote for the candidate with the most votes. Those states control 196 electoral votes, and when that number grows to 270 (the number that elects a candidate) as more states join the compact, the problem may be solved. Every state will want the campaign money and publicity flowing to states that guarantee their popular votes will count.

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Roger C. Kostmayer, Baltimore

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