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Friday, November 27, 2020
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Letter to the Editor: About Prop. 113
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Our U.S. Constitution is a product of compromise, in particular the Great Compromise of 1787. It also illustrates how some things that seemed like good ideas in the eighteenth century may no longer be so good.

The Electoral College is an example, a product of the compromise that created the U.S. Congress with an upper chamber in which each state has equal representation, and a lower chamber in which state representation is determined by population. Because the number of each state’s electors is the sum of its senators and representatives, there is an inherent bias in favor of the lesser populated states.

Around the time of the Great Compromise, the most populous state (Virginia) had about 12 times the population of the least populous (Delaware). Now the most populous (California) has about 68 times the population of the least (Wyoming).

Most states operate on a winner-take-all basis, by which all of a state’s electoral votes go to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in the state. (Two states, Maine and Nebraska, apportion electoral votes by how their congressional districts voted—a truly terrible idea, given gerrymandering.)

In states like Colorado a result is that voters who vote for a candidate who loses the state also lose the impact of their vote nationwide. Their vote counts for nothing. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact addresses that, so that even if you voted for a loser in Colorado, your vote would still count nationwide and could determine who’s president. Proposition 113, if approved, would keep Colorado in that very sensible Compact.

Some have pointed out that while Clinton won many more votes than Trump, Trump won many more counties than Clinton did in 2016, and that this should somehow justify less-dense populations’ having a larger voice than more-dense populations.

Our current Constitution intends the vote for people, not acreage.

If I owned 68 acres, and someone else owned one acre, that shouldn’t mean that I should get 68 votes to that person’s one. Although that’s something like the way the Electoral College favors Wyoming over California.


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including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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