The Republican Party extols the virtues of the Electoral College and how it prevents the majority from discriminating against the minority. This is a bald-faced lie.

The Electoral College has its origin in slavery. The northern states who were larger agreed to it in order to keep the slave states in the Union. It served this function until the battles over whether or not the new states created from western expansion would be slave or free. The Electoral College preserved the Union until the Civil War that finally brought an end to this horrendous institution.

Jim Delmore

Jim Delmore

The Electoral College allocates votes for president according to the number of people in the House and Senate. Since each state has two senators regardless of size, the smaller states have an advantage relative to population. The smallest state, Wyoming, with only 578,000, and shrinking, has the same number of senators as California with almost 40 million and growing. Consequently, a vote in Wyoming is worth several times a vote in California.

When the Electoral College was first established, there were differences in the population of the states but nothing like today. Smaller states were given this advantage to make accommodations for slavery and thus has its roots in extreme racism.

The inherent racism of the Electoral College continues to this day. This is evident in the fact that both the District of Columbia (702,000 and predominantly black voters) and Puerto Rico (3.2 million and predominantly Latino voters) are far larger than some of the smaller states and are still denied statehood.

If the Republicans were serious about removing the racism of the Electoral College, at a minimum they would work to give statehood to both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. If they were really serious about removing racism, they would vote to abolish this residual relic of slavery altogether.

Elimination of the Electoral College is not likely to happen in my lifetime due to the fact that the small states want to maintain their advantage, and they have the power to block the required constitutional amendment.

On the other hand, statehood for Puerto Rico could go with only a simple majority vote from both the House and the Senate once the state government of Puerto Rico has completed its application. It is my understanding that Puerto Rico completed these requirements two years ago. It is not clear that the District of Columbia has progressed to the point of being ready for a vote.

Could it be that Congress itself has some residual racism that they are refusing to take this to a vote?

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