By Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

The mere notion that a regional candidate could amass gargantuan popular majorities in only certain parts of the country while blowing off the rest ought to shock into sobriety anyone who gives the notion of doing away with the Electoral College a moment's thought.  Not only would it matter merely to win a given State, but by how many votes; if you think you've seen ballot stuffing in its highest form in this nation's electoral history, then you'll be in for a genuine revelation.  Even more alarming is the prospect of a heightened imperative to systematic disenfranchisement of voters in particular locales who may be expected not to vote "the right way" come election day.

With that in mind and on top of it --and this should alarm first-principles conservatives who still believe in a few old-fashioned virtues as they would pertain to the right of the States to manage, to the extent feasible, their own affairs-- we're looking at the potential (nay, the necessity) of federally administered presidential elections, right down to the level of the polling place.  Nothing like more government to solve a "problem" that exists only in the minds of sore losers; it's worth reminding that nowhere in the Constitution is there a guarantee of the right of an individual citizen to cast a ballot for the office of president in the first place.

"Not only would it matter merely to win a given State, but by how many votes": how is that a bad thing? And why would ballot stuffing be any more prevalent with a popular vote model? One would have to falsify hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of votes to change the outcome. If you want a smart take on incremental electoral college reform, Rick Hertzberg has written extensively about it.

 

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.