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Too bad Cathy Baker, in her recent letter, expressed difficulty in understanding how the Electoral College works. Perhaps that accentuates the failure of the “civics” portion of the educational system.

Unfortunately, none of the people who set it into motion is around to tell us, but it was one of the many things that delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 had to figure out, and remarkably it has worked well for over 200 years and does just what was envisioned to prevent gridlock in the selection of a president and vice president. It was during those discussions that clear thinkers decided that “we the people” should be involved in selecting a president, and not a king.

Over the years, there have been people who doubted the system of the people’s vote being used to select “electors” and it usually sprouts from one of those hard-fought battles, but the Electoral College works in ways that most people don’t think about. It decentralizes the selection of a president, making it happen within the states.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would have the same effect as abolishing the Electoral College. Fraud in one state would affect every state and the only way to deal with it would be to give more power to the federal government in the form of nationwide recounts, federal lawsuits, delays that are now contained within the states.

Too often we forget the power brokers' urge for more control at a federal level is short-sighted. I recall that in 1992 the Electoral College boosted the win by Democrat Bill Clinton, who won with only 43 percent of the popular vote, but received over 68 percent of the electoral vote.

Randy C. Martinak

Albany (June 30)

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