2020’s election was painful to Americans, and the aftermath is playing out still with the Senate impeachment trial of the former president. The trauma is related to the closeness of the presidential vote and the refusal of many to accept the outcome. Now, calls have been made from both sides to change the process, but it has worked for more than 200 years, so the status quo should be maintained.
One of those calls comes in the form of Arizona House Bill 2720, which would allow the Legislature to choose presidential electors, regardless of the voters’ choice, or let legislators overturn certification of the vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix, is disturbing. One thing it likely would do, should it ever get anywhere, is to bring more calls for abolishing the Electoral College, something that would not be in the interest of Arizonans. And Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, who represents much of Pinal County, has claimed that legislators already have a right to overrule electors.
The system we have always used was written into the Constitution in part to protect smaller states from being dominated by a few larger ones. Although presidential elections have changed greatly since the days of the Founding Fathers, that protection for all Americans is still important. That is especially true in these times when voting procedures for some states are suspect. Relying only on the popular vote would dilute the rights of voters in states that are more strict about ensuring that all votes are legitimate. It also likely would produce more shenanigans in vote counting in some states.
Meanwhile, proposals from some Democrats, including lowering the voting age and allowing same-day registration, also would damage the process.
Instead of major changes in a system that has worked for centuries, the emphasis should be on maintaining the integrity of the process. And there should be rules against careless use of mailed ballots, unlike the Arizona method where mail ballots have to be requested.
Elections always leave some voters unhappy with the outcome. But trying to shred the system is not an acceptable response to that.
— Donovan Kramer Jr.