The Oregon State Senate was expected to pass legislation this short-session to put Oregon on record as favoring the popular vote to elect a U.S. President – not the Electoral College which has chosen five U.S. Presidents who did not win a majority vote – most recently George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
Ten states have signed on, so far, to a change that reflects every other election decision in this country – namely, that it be based upon some form of majority rule – either 50% plus one, two-thirds majority or three-fourths majority.
A drive underway right now, among U.S. state legislatures, would apply a “majority voter” rule in selecting a President. In the last election (like her or not) Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by three million votes. Yet she did NOT win due to the vagaries of the Electoral College – an agency throwback to the middle of the 19th Century when slaveholding rural voters were given more than one vote in an effort to ensure that their slaves would not be freed by more liberal voters living in the cities.
Against that historical backdrop, extreme voter district gerrymandering (both parties have done it throughout history) has preserved the system that in no way guarantees that there is, in fact, majority rule in Presidential elections. Oregon right now has a bill before the legislature that would add Oregon’s name to the ten states that have agreed that Presidents should be elected by a majority of citizens…not by an archaic institution called the Electoral College whose founding rationale is no longer rational.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Oregon joining those other ten states demanding majority rule for President. The president of the Oregon Senate, a democrat, has taken it upon himself to muddy the waters and he just might stifle any attempt to add Oregon’s name to the drive to adopt majority vote for the most powerful political office in the land.
Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.