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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Sen. Dan Brown Column: Understanding the Electoral Process

  • I'm frequently asked about the electoral college in presidential elections, and why we don't elect a president based on the popular vote alone. In fact, there is a contingency of voters that feel the electoral college should be eliminated altogether.
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  • I'm frequently asked about the electoral college in presidential elections, and why we don't elect a president based on the popular vote alone. In fact, there is a contingency of voters that feel the electoral college should be eliminated altogether.
    Let me tell you about how the process works, and why eliminating the electoral college would be bad for Missouri, and many other states.
    The founding fathers of our great country created this process to level the playing field for all the states.
    The process begins when the presidential election is held in November. The outcome will determine the list of electors who make the actual choice for the president and vice-president. Choosing the electors depends on the laws of each individual state. Some states nominate the electors during their party's national conventions, some are selected by the party's governing committees. There are as many electors as there are Senators and House members at the federal level for each state.
    The idea is that when you vote for the president and vice-president, you actually vote for a candidate's 'elector' whose vote should reflect the will of the people. However, the founding fathers also built into this system the option for an elector to vote against the popular vote, which has created controversy in the past, but incidents such as these are very rare.
    After the general election takes place, the electors cast their votes in December, and the final outcome is determined in January.
    If it weren't for the electoral college, candidates wouldn't bother campaigning in each and every state, they would only concentrate on the most populated states, and many of the smaller states would lose their voice in the elections.
    I stand with the idea that the electoral process reflects the original intent of our great republic, and that it should remain in place as the fairest method to choose the highest positions in the country.
    Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
    Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.
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