Elec­toral Col­lege means NM counts

Albuquerque Journal - - OP-ED -

RE: THE op-ed by Melora Palmer (Jan. 14) pro­mot­ing the Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote.

The usual crit­i­cism of the Elec­toral Col­lege is that it gives more power to small states — like New Mex­ico! It would be fool­ish for N.M. to de­lib­er­ately give up its ad­van­tage in the Elec­toral Col­lege. Palmer says that N.M. would get more at­ten­tion in elec­tion cam­paigns un­der a pop­u­lar-vote sys­tem. That is highly un­likely. Can­di­dates would do all their cam­paign­ing in the big­gest states and the big­gest cities, be­cause that’s where most of the votes are. The fact is that New Mex­ico is rel­a­tively small both in pop­u­la­tion and in elec­toral votes, so we are never go­ing to be the fo­cus of at­ten­tion, but I’m sure we would get less at­ten­tion un­der a pop­u­lar­vote sys­tem. The most at­ten­tion N.M. ever got in na­tional elec­tions was dur­ing the brief pe­riod around 2000 when we were one of the swing states — maybe that’s what we should as­pire to!

Fur­ther­more, I’m not sure that peo­ple in New Mex­ico who fa­vor the Na­tional Pop­u­lar Vote have thought through the con­se­quences. New Mex­ico seems to be a pretty solidly Demo­cratic state these days. If a Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date were to win the pop­u­lar vote, then he or she would get N.M.’s elec­toral votes un­der ei­ther sys­tem. But if a Repub­li­can can­di­date were to win the pop­u­lar vote, then NPV could re­sult in the Repub­li­can getting NM’s elec­toral votes against the wishes of the peo­ple of the state! MICHAEL WIL­SON Al­bu­querque

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