Nancy O’Hagan wrote “One person, one vote is how elections should be,” published in the May 1-3 editions of these newspapers. While the statement is as it should be, the question of electing a president is more nuanced. Local, state and federal senators and representatives are certainly elected on that basis, but it is dangerous to have the head of the administrative branch, who represents all citizens, to be elected that way.

Contrary to the belief of some, we do not live in a democracy. Listen the next time the Pledge of Allegiance is recited. It references the United States of America, not the country of America, and references the republic. We are a republic. There was a deliberate attempt to give parity to all the states, and their citizens, with large and small populations.

This is why each state has two senators, but representatives based on population size. It gives each state a somewhat equal voice. The electoral college does the same. Each state can award their electors based on what the voting results were in their own state, not California, Texas, Florida and New York.

Imagine we had a first-term autocratic president whose only interest was to win a second term. Where would they put their efforts for things like disaster declarations, transportation repair, any federal funding? Knowing that all they had to do was win the popular vote, those efforts will go exclusively to those states that can get the desired result. Sound like anyone you know?

Sorry Maine, you’re on your own paying for storms that decimated parts of your too-small-to-be-bothered-with state.

Yes, a couple of times the individual who did not win the popular vote did not get elected. Get over it. It doesn’t happen often enough to disrupt a system that normally works just fine.

John Sahm
Cape Elizabeth

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