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Letters to the Editor: Why did this election feel so close? Blame the electoral college

Presidential electors from the state of Indiana sign paperwork to give their votes to Donald Trump in 2016.
Presidential electors from the state of Indiana sign paperwork to give their votes to Donald Trump in 2016.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

To the editor: President-elect Joe Biden leads President Trump by more than 4 million votes. Still, we had to sit on the edge of our seats for four days wondering who would finally win the presidency.

Why are we going through this? Because of the electoral college. This situation undermines democracy because it in effect disenfranchises millions of voters and subtly promotes an oligarchic takeover of our government. It also diminishes our status and influence with other nations of the world.

Biden is the clear popular vote winner, but the electoral college makes the contest needlessly complicated.

Current population trends will continue to produce more urban dwellers, and this will further distort the influence of the electoral college. It must be abolished, or a rising tide of cynicism toward the government will destroy our democracy.

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John Smith, Wrightwood, Calif.

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To the editor: It’s too bad that the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has not yet been enacted by enough states to account for 270 electoral votes. When it passes that threshold, the participating states will award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, in effect abolishing the electoral college.

As of July 2020, the compact has been adopted by 16 jurisdictions possessing 196 electoral votes, including four small states, eight medium-size states and three large states. The District of Columbia has also adopted it.

The electoral college has to go. Its only purpose was to deny us unwashed, ignorant, unqualified masses from selecting the president and the vice president.

Patricia J. Barry, Los Angeles


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