I grew up during the 1960s, when the “one person, one vote” principle was established by the U.S. Supreme Court. This socially reverberating principle – incorporating justice, fairness and equality – is to me a linchpin of true democracy. The Electoral College process does not measure up to this standard.

I myself have lived in six different states (Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin and, longest of all, Maine), and have been old enough to vote in five of them. Many of my family and friends live in Maine, but others live elsewhere, in a dozen states as varied as New Hampshire, South Carolina and Washington. I believe each of our votes should count equally, no matter which state we happen to call “home” when voting for president.

As laid out in our Constitution, the number of state electors was originally determined by the 1787 “three-fifths compromise,” which designated how slaves would be counted when calculating a state’s population for representational purposes. Thus, for me, this process is inherently tainted by America’s ignominious slave-holding past. For the 80,000 Mainers who fought in the Civil War – including Walter Stone Poor, who wrote on May 15, 1861, that “War is bad, heaven knows, but slavery is far worse” – I hope our current legislators will act as bravely in helping to further secure our Union.

When we vote for U.S. president, we vote for one individual to represent us in each and every state, whether our population be proportionally larger or smaller, older or younger, richer or poorer. L.D. 816, by supporting the candidate who receives the most popular votes across our whole nation, is a way to honor “one person, one vote” and strengthen American democracy.

Janine Bonk

West Gardiner