Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2013, 6:00 am
Making Electoral College equal for all
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By Kent Bush
You really find out how bad an idea was when you try to fix it.
I have always thought the Electoral College was a bad idea. It is a redistribution of voting power that defines the weight of a vote in a small state as more valuable than the same vote in a more populous state.
It also renders small states and states with a consistent voting record worthless to candidates. The Electoral College also creates the possibility that a person could win the presidency without winning the popular vote.
That's proof that you don't live in a democracy. Maybe you think a Federalist Republic is superior to a democracy.
But that doesn't mean that the Electoral College is the best way to elect a president.
Neil Freeman -- artist, urban planner and blogger -- understood that some people like the Electoral College. He also perceives that picking a president shouldn't be packed with potential problems.
His answer: Redraw the maps.
When you see the problem, it makes the solution a matter of logic. The problem is that some states are far more populous which gains them more representation in Congress and thus, the Electoral College. However, small states get one vote for their representative and two for their senators so that means small state voters are over-represented in the Electoral College.
Freeman's new map solves that. He redraws state boundaries to give each state a little over 6 million people.
Wichita would fall into a new state with Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Texas would be divided into at least five pieces.
That's right. He messed with Texas.
Hawaii becomes part of one of the Californian mini-states and Alaska joins the contiguous United States as a large, unconnected land mass. That isn't an entirely new concept for Alaska.
When you see the changes that would have to be made to make the Electoral College equitable for all voters, you can really determine the magnitude of the problem it presents.
Of course, being forced to divide New York City into several states and seeing the tiny land mass around urban areas that make up a state really help define the problem. The expanses across the western and northern United States also demonstrate how bad the solution would be.
Of course, it would never happen. Freeman isn't proposing it. He merely used his artistic abilities to show what it a solution would look like.
No one wants to redraw the boundaries for states every 10 years after a census. Who wants to see Kansas University in another state?
Only a horrible problem can have a solution this bad. The Electoral College is that bad.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta, Kan., Gazette.