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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Popular vote bill

Terribly flawed plan

As noted in a recent article, the Legislature in Washington has just voted to join the National Popular Vote project, where our state’s electoral votes would go to whomever won the popular vote nationwide [“Legislature OKs popular vote bill,” seattletimes.com, Local News, April 15]. I am shocked and disappointed that a major change like this would be made without a vigorous, well-publicized statewide debate and vote.

While on the surface this may appear to be a good idea, there are at least three flaws with it. First is the possibility that voters in our state will have their electoral votes cast for someone they don’t want to be president. We could even have the citizens of our state vote 100 percent for a candidate, but that person would not receive a single electoral vote from our state if they didn’t also win the national popular vote. Sounds like disenfranchisement to me.

Secondly, politicians would run their campaigns (and political payback in the form of pork), toward the most populous states, such as California, New York and Florida. Money would be spent and laws passed in ways that benefit these states in order to keep their votes. States with smaller populations could be ignored completely or just given lip service.

Lastly, and what is most alarming, is the increased fraud that would go along with this new system. Right now, the only places it is really worth the risks and paybacks to cheat are the states with the most electoral votes. If this new system were to come into play, a fraudulent vote anywhere in the country would be worth as much as a fraudulent vote anywhere else in the country. One fraudulent vote per precinct nationwide could be enough to steal an election.

The Electoral College has served us very well in the past. Please, if you care about the system set up in our Constitution, call Gov. Chris Gregoire and tell her not to sign this bill.

— Michelle Haneberg, Snohomish

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