E.J. Dionne Jr. was right in suggesting in his May 18 op-ed, “Grading the electoral college: C for chaos,” that the electoral college should go. In addition to the familiar example he gave — the 2016 election — it is worth recalling the 2004 election. This lesser-known case reveals that the electoral college’s skewing impact is ever-present and nonpartisan: then-President George W. Bush won the popular vote by more than 3 million votes (sound familiar?), but he would have lost in the electoral college had John F. Kerry received 120,000 more votes in one state (Ohio). 

Such “but for” scenarios can be serious or entertaining. Those in the future involving faithless electors will likely spur theoretical rather than actual chaos, regardless of whether states can punish them. I fear the country won’t fully address the debacle of the electoral college until we experience the true chaos of an election thrown into the House or repeated misfire elections. Fixing and working around the electoral college are dead ends. We have to replace it with majority popular-vote outcomes and changed roles for states, such as randomized and rotating primaries.

Rick LaRueSilver Spring