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Grading the electoral college

August 29, 2007

Re "California split," editorial, Aug. 25

Thank you for the sensible editorial critiquing the Republican attempt to split up California's electoral college votes. No doubt Republicans will accuse The Times of bias. But they would have it backward.

To present a scheme as equitable that is so clearly designed to benefit one side -- that would be biased.

Andrew Matthews

Washington

The editorial summary of the Republican initiative effort to have the state's electoral votes for president be awarded by congressional district fails to take the effort to its logical conclusion. Such an effort is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, which provides that states shall choose electors "in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct."

This means that the state will be faced with the inevitable lawsuit to keep this unconstitutional nonsense off the ballot. Should such a lawsuit succeed (and it probably would), Republicans will wander the state in sackcloth and ashes, moaning that evil Democrats or liberals or similar boogeymen have taken away their precious right to vote.

For half a century, Republicans have had nothing but contempt for the Constitution. It is refreshing to see that they are still on message.

Steven Flowers

West Hollywood

The presidential nominating and electing process should be thrown in the dustbin with the antiquated electoral college.

Any system that gives the citizens of any state or gerrymandered district a disproportionate and unfair amount of influence in nominating and electing the president must be rejected as unsuitable and undemocratic.

Less-populous states already get widely disproportionate representation in the U.S. Senate. Giving these same states disproportionate influence in nominating and electing the president is just plain wrong and bad for our democracy.

We would be better served by one national primary day in the spring when everyone votes at the same time and has equal influence. Then, in November, we should have a direct popular-vote election for the president, with a runoff election between the top two finishers in December if no candidate receives 50% of the popular vote.

Our nation needs a presidential electoral process fit for the 21st century, not the 19th century.

Dan Wentzel

Santa Monica

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