Letter to the editor: respect voting laws

ULM Hawkeye

In response to the article last week about current primary practices destroying federalism: I think it’s absurd.

If anything is destroying federalism it is the way that the Electoral College is decided, which needs to return to its original idea.

Spreading out the state primaries and caucuses show the strength and resolve of the candidates. I agree pollsters focus too much on states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

But they have a diverse electorate when it comes to political ideology and are swing states during the general election.

Going to national or regional primaries, like what you’re suggesting, goes against not only the state’s laws and customs, but also the Constitution and the 10th Amendment.

The Constitution only stipulates that the election of the president/vice president and members of Congress will be elected on the first Tuesday of November. It doesn’t say how the primaries are to be held.

The 10th Amendment says that anything not directly stated in the Constitution as a federal power is a state power. Therefore, the conduction of primaries and caucuses is a power of the state, not the federal government.

State laws further complicate your idea. For example: the state of Louisiana has a law that stipulates that all elections are to be held on Saturdays, unless it’s an election for a nation-wide office.

South Carolina also has that law. Which is a good idea, because in theory it allows more people to vote. If anything needs to be changed in the current systems it needs to be the caucuses, which has proven to be problematic.

Look at what happened in Nevada, where potential voters were leaving before they could vote, because of the limited time restraints of the caucus.

I do agree that there’s too much power in a few states of our great nation when it comes to deciding who wins the election.

Interesting fact: you can win the Presidency if you can win twelve of the fifty states. Does that seem fair? I don’t think so.

Another interesting fact:  in 2012, if we followed the original idea of the Electoral College, we would not have President Obama, we would have President Romney.

The Win-All Take-All system implemented by the states destroys the original purpose of the Electoral College, rigs elections, and suppresses minorities from being heard.

States like Maine and Nebraska observe and follow the original idea of the Electoral College. That’s what we need to go back to.

This plan says whichever candidates wins the majority of the congressional district gets that Electoral vote, and whoever wins the majority of the state gets the remaining two votes.

Louisiana has eight Electoral votes (six congressional districts and two senators.) The original idea says that if candidate A wins four congressional districts and candidate B wins the other two, he remaining two votes go to candidate A.

This would eliminate battle ground states, as candidates would have to work to win the congressional districts across the nation.

It would also allow minorities, especially political minorities, to be represented in the election.

In all, the idea of federalism applied to our primaries and caucuses goes against the principles of this nation.

We are the United States of America; we are unique and independent states that are joined together.

Taking a reference from Star Trek, we are the Federation, we are allowed to govern our planets as we see fit. We are not the Borg Collective, we are not ONE.

With such belief, respect the states’ sovereignty.

– Dylan Crowell, history grad student