paul’s words

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One Person, One Vote?

“How much your vote counts should never depend on where you live.” So wrote Katrina vanden Heuvel, in “Just Democracy”, The Nation, July 21, 2008.

But consider:
Each of these seven smallest-population states of the United States has three votes in the Electoral College:

   State Population*  
Alaska    626,932  
Delaware    783,600  
Montana    902,195  
North Dakota    642,200  
South Dakota    754,844  
Vermont    608,827  
Wyoming    493,782  
   Total Population of seven states 4,812,330   Total Votes: 21

Each of the following five states has a larger population than that total, but each has barely half as many Electoral College votes:

   State Population    Votes
Indiana 6,080,485      11
Missouri 5,595,211      11
Tennessee 5,689,283      11
Washington 5,894,121      11
Wisconsin 5,363,675      10

Citizens of the larger-population states have a lesser voice in the Electoral College; where you live does affect how your vote counts.

And Utahns ought to have a sense of outrage, too: The three smallest-population states (Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming) have a total population of 1,729,541, with a total of nine Electoral College votes - compared to Utah’s 2,233,169 population with only five Electoral College votes. Utah sued (and lost) to get a fourth seat in the House of Representatives, which would have given Utah a total of six Electoral College votes, still not comparable to the nine votes of those three small states.

It is time to challenge and to abolish the Electoral College.

One Person, One Vote!

W. Paul Wharton

*The population numbers are from the US Bureau of the Census, as reported in the 2007 New York Times Almanac.