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Votes cast on electoral college

August 23, 2008

Re "Electoral college dropout," editorial, Aug. 18

In case The Times editorial staff and the politicians forget, the founding fathers created a representative republic. They were well-educated and were cognizant of the failure of the direct democracy of the Greek city-states.

The electoral college is a direct response. It has given us a stable government for more than 200 years. We may not like the outcome occasionally, but populism is not the solution.

Keep the politicians out of it. They will only do something that will benefit themselves, and who knows what the unintended consequences could be?

David Underwood

Citrus Heights

Your support of a bill to circumvent the electoral college is very shortsighted. It's easy to imagine a national election with a close popular vote, followed by a disclosure that the voter turnout in Chicago was a very unusual 120%. Would you still have California award its electoral votes to the popular vote winner?

Determining the presidency by a national popular vote would be a huge incentive for voter fraud. You may not like the concept of the electoral college, but it undeniably limits fraud damage on a state-by-state basis. If a national popular vote prevails, expect voting irregularities, nationwide recounts and chaos to become the norm.

Gary Osheroff

Pasadena

The electoral college was created at a time when Americans did not vote directly for U.S. senator or president. I ought to know. My grandfather served in the California Assembly in 1873-75. He lost an election to serve in the U.S. Senate by a single vote -- in the Legislature.

That problem was fixed years ago, but today, we still elect the president through an indirect process.

This may explain why there have been so many proposals in Congress to change or eliminate the electoral college. When you think about it, isn't it absurd that America's greatest export -- democracy through direct elections -- is OK for Iraq and Afghanistan but not for this country? Clearly, it is time to reform the presidential election system.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

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