Computers to replace Electoral College - Greg Gelpi

Perhaps, I misspoke.

Since my September 2003 arrival at the News Daily, I've received a comment here and there regarding my columns, but last week's column regarding the Electoral College evoked an onslaught of messages and emotion.

Almost without fail, the comments noted my misuse and corruption of the word "democracy."

As they rightfully pointed out, America is a representative republic, not a democracy as I, and many others, frequently refer to it.

Perhaps, rather than the word "democracy," I should have instead used the word "democratic."

Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that works to spread political and economic freedom, lists America as one of the most democratic nations in the world in both civil liberties and political rights.

Most of the readers' comments also touted the need for the Electoral College, explaining its function and why it should remain as is.

Still, I stand steadfast in declaring the Electoral College should and must go. To be clich?, we shouldn't miss the forest for the trees. While my comments on democracy may have been off, that should not detract from my attacks on the Electoral College.

Regardless of why the system was originally set in place, I don't buy the argument that the college prevents largely populated states from dominating less populated states.

Check the political map from the 2000 and 2004 elections. A sea of red states, those voting for Bush, is balanced by slivers of blue, those voting for the Democratic candidate.

Still, the actual number of electoral votes remains close. The heavily populated states still command more attention from the presidential candidates and still cast more electoral votes.

The electoral votes are apportioned to states based on their number of delegates in Congress, thus they are ultimately apportioned based significantly upon population. That's the same population aspect that many tout as the reason for having the college.

Marchers filled the streets of Ohio following last week's presidential election demanding that their votes be counted. I'm confident that all votes, including the provisional ballots, will be counted. Although counted and tallied, they won't truly count or amount to anything more than mere numbers because individual votes won't sway the state's electoral votes.

The Electoral College also makes several presuppositions.

Namely, the college presupposes that the general public is ignorant as to the political world and that those in the Electoral College are somehow above the average American, somehow more qualified than you or me.

The Electoral College, though, will soon become a moot point, anyway.

Wiping the dust off my crystal ball, it won't be too far into the future when the Electoral College and politicians as a whole will become extinct.

In their place will sit computers. The computers will instantly tabulate countless polls. An issue will arise before a congress of computers, and immediately the pulse of the nation will be measured, noted and acted upon.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.