The Jan. 20 editorial “How not to fix the electoral college” criticized a Wisconsin Republican proposal to change the way that state’s electoral college votes are allocated as part of a presidential election. The editorial made the persuasive case that the Republican plan would certainly not “fix” the current system but make the electoral college system more unfair and perverse by encouraging more partisan gerrymandering. The editorial also stated that the electoral college system could be made fairer by allocating electoral college votes proportionally according to the statewide popular vote. That would represent an improvement over the existing system — winner-take-all in most states — or the Republican plan, which would further bias the system in favor of a Republican presidential candidate because of Republican-controlled gerrymandering.

Proportional allocation of electoral college votes is, of course, based on the popular vote, the recognized “gold standard” for choosing every elected official/office in the country, except for president, arguably the most important elected official in the country. The president is the only official in our country not selected by our basic democratic principle of “one man (or woman), one vote” in which a person’s vote counts the same regardless of what state that person lives in. 

Though proportional allocation of electoral college votes based on the popular vote goes partway in being faithful to our basic “one man, one vote” principle, a superior and more permanent solution is to abolish the electoral college entirely.

Edwin Stromberg, Takoma Park