The Electoral College as we’ve known it
A recent letter to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent brought up points in favor of the Electoral College (“Electoral College balances inequities in human nature,” Nov. 13). Readers should be aware that the Electoral College/national popular vote debate may be impacted by a Colorado case, Baca v. Colorado Department of State, considered in August by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In that case, Micheal Baca, a Democratic elector, voted in 2016 for John Kasich, not Hillary Clinton, the Colorado victor. The Colorado secretary of state objected and installed a new elector, canceling “faithless elector” Baca’s vote. Baca sued. The 10th Circuit stated that the Colorado secretary of state had acted unconstitutionally in that electors have discretion under the Constitution to cast their votes for president and vice president, and the state cannot remove such electors and cancel their votes. Last month, Colorado asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.
If the ultimate outcome of the Baca case is that states cannot require their electors to cast ballots for the candidate favored by most of a state’s voters on election day, even though the electors have pledged to do so (the current system), or have made some other balloting agreement with a state (the National Popular Vote Compact), then the purpose of the Electoral College is brought into question, for small and large states alike.
So what is the best way to reflect the peoples’ choice? Perhaps Baca will tell us. All I know is we must find a way to stop putting runners-up in the Oval Office and allow the will of the people to prevail.