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Making votes count

November 04, 2007

Re "A vote for fairness," Opinion, Oct. 28

Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Keyssar are both right: General presidential elections by district rather than state are the best way to implement the democratic ideal. However, a state-by-state initiative process -- allocation by districts only if the same initiative is adopted by states representing 60% or more of the electoral votes -- is probably not as dangerous as a state-by-state campaign for a constitutional amendment. Too many wing nuts backed by too much money would turn that process into a free-for-all. Of course, special interests govern this country, so neither rational approach has any chance.

But if we're dreaming, why not also go for an anti-gerrymandering rule and a clause requiring a do-over or a split whenever vote counts in a given voting district are within statistical margins of error?

Lynwood Spinks



A single vote in a small state has three to more times the value of one in California. Until Congress fixes this, our Legislature should allocate electoral votes to cancel the outcomes of the two earliest primaries and two most overvalued states. Highlighting this disparity is the best path to a national popular vote, and the cost is minimal.

Jim Gettman

Montecito Heights

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