This recent presidential election has again demonstrated that there are oddities in the Electoral College system. President Donald Trump secured the presidency with a majority of votes from the Electoral College while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
Our Oregon State Rep. Brad Witt, a Democrat, is proposing that the state award all of our electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally.
A National Popular Vote (NPV) movement proposes a direct vote for the presidency.
Having every citizen's vote counted equally against every other citizen's vote sounds like a good idea ... doesn't it? The result would be that the constitutionally mandated Electoral College will be circumvented without an amendment to the Constitution. Progressives think this will pass — and it might without pushback from those of us impacted with such para-constitutional acts.
These "Para-Constitutional" maneuvers, while legal, should be observed with skepticism. Unintended consequences are mostly unknown until they raise their ugly heads. The desired method of campaigning for the vote has been for most states to be visited and local concerns considered. With population being distributed unequally, the lesser-
populated states and regions would become
less desirable to expend time and campaign funds in.
Campaigns would exist only for the densely populated cities and states. Regional difficulties and concerns would be ignored. Water allocation, highway funding and all other issues desiring of federal funding would be decided by the population centers only, to the detriment of rural America.
Our I-5 corridor here in Oregon is a clear demonstration of the rule of the urban centers with the concentration of the liberal and the progressive university viewpoints in Portland, Salem and Eugene, versus the rural, more conservative landowning and private sector working population. Our last true conservative political figure was Sen. Gordon Smith, an agricultural businessman. Our current governor, Kate Brown, who is a progressive/socialist, would endorse the NPV legislation if HB 2927 passes the state senate, having already passed the state House.
Rep. Witt and those who support this legislation can't see what the consequences might be, but they certainly will change the electoral process. Witt first gained his seat in government by appointment following an interesting electoral elimination process as now-Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, vacated her seat in the House to move into the state Senate.
With unknown consequences emanating from the changes in the electoral
process promoted by Representative Witt, the very foundation of the method of our selection of our president is at stake.
I'd suggest patience and forbearance until the hysteria subsides from the election of President Trump. With the national and global unrest keeping everyone on edge, now is not a good time to make lasting changes to our historical election processes and to rush a circumvention of our national Constitution.
Tom Ford lives in Scappoose