The genius of our United States Constitution is the delicate balance our Founding Fathers struck between empowering a national government and preserving the inherent sovereignty of individual states. Any proposed governmental reform that would interfere with that balance should be looked upon skeptically. Recent proposals to do away with the Electoral College in favor of a national popular vote for President deserve such careful examination. But that does not mean that reform is out of reach. We have only to look to the Constitution itself to find that the answer lies in the self-interest of each state. I am an attorney specializing in election law in California. I recently authored a proposed statewide initiative that would change California’s winner-take-all system of awarding its fifty-five electoral votes to a system currently employed by the states of Maine and Nebraska. In each of these two states, the presidential candidate winning the popular vote in each of the state’s congressional districts is awarded one electoral vote while the winner of the state’s overall popular vote is awarded two electoral votes. Pundits and partisans immediately questioned my motivation in offering such a proposal, suggesting that I was trying to rig the election—you see, I am a Republican living in a predominantly Democratic state. The truth, however, is that I am a Californian first and foremost.
Thomas W. Hiltachk,
Reforming the Electorial College One State at a Time,
Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_fi/vol106/iss1/13