Change Electoral College? Fifty States Become One

Once there were thirteen states that made up the British colonial jurisdictions along North America’s Atlantic coast, each distinct and separately governed. In time that number grew to fifty. Now, Democrats seek to replace them with just one by abolishing the Electoral College, which represents states as well as people.

As with Congress, where the people are represented in the House and the states in the Senate, membership in the Electoral College equals a state’s complement of senators and representatives. Maryland, as a result, has ten electors.  

There is historic reason for such an arrangement. Once independence had been achieved, there was a need for some mechanism to continue what had been a successful cooperative venture. They first tried Articles of Confederation, which declared that “each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence.” It proved not to be enough and was replaced with a federal constitution which, nonetheless, noted in its very first sentence that its purpose was “to form a more perfect union…” Not to abolish the thirteen states, but to better unite them.

Now liberals urge abolition of the Electoral College or, failing that, bypassing it by compelling electors to back the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how their state voted. That end run, sadly, originated here in Maryland in 2007 when Democrats, led by then-Governor Martin O’Malley, committed us to the so-called National Popular Vote initiative. Rather than vote for Maryland’s choice, our electors must vote for the presidential candidate who carried a few big, blue, out-of-state urban areas, in effect, replacing fifty autonomous states with a single, reliably Democratic one.