Electoral College should be maintained
Gov. Linda Lingle has vetoed a bill that would direct Hawaii's electoral votes in presidential elections to the winner of the national popular vote.
VOTERS in California and other populous blue states might feel shortchanged in presidential elections won by Republican candidates' ability to round up electoral votes in more rural states. Their solution is to circumvent the Electoral College through state laws assigning electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote nationally. Such a system would trash the Founders' method of protecting small states with electoral votes reflecting their representation in Congress.
The assault on the Electoral College was dreamed up by Stanford professor John R. Koza. The effort was targeted first at Maryland and Hawaii, reliable Democratic states whose legislatures this year signed on to the scheme. Proponents then would be able to cite them later in trying to hoodwink lawmakers in the many red states in middle America needed to reach critical mass.
Lobbyist John Radcliffe explained in an e-mail to Koza that his strategy was to "pass this thing without an education campaign because, in my judgment, most people don't have enough brains to 'get it,' whatever 'it' is." A feverish media campaign followed a Star-Bulletin editorial opposing the legislation.
Opponents of the Electoral College point out that Al Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 election. If Sen. John Kerry had received just 59,300 more votes in Ohio in 2004, he would have won election under the current system. However, the Koza method would have elected Bush, with the help of Hawaii's four electoral votes that had gone to Kerry.
Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of the Koza bill should stand to ensure that Hawaii's electoral votes "reflect the will of the majority of the voters in Hawaii."
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