Electoral College rewards coalition building

Electoral College opponents need Michigan’s support for their National Popular Vote interstate compact, which never seems to make any headway in the state Legislature.

How unsurprising, then, that former Michigan resident and Republican voter Matthew Joyner joined the fray last week ("Popular vote would give GOP a better chance," Sept. 6). Speaking in calming tones to Republicans, Joyner reassured jittery constitutionalists that the National Popular Vote plan is in line with the Constitution.

Except that it's not. 

The NPV organization asks states to sign a simple contract. Each signatory state agrees to give its presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than the winner of the state’s popular vote. The plan goes into effect when states holding 270 electoral votes (enough to win the presidency) have signed the contract. So far, 15 states plus D.C. have agreed to these terms. They hold 196 electoral votes among them. They only need 74 more electoral votes to put the plan into effect.

The Electoral College would be effectively eliminated at the behest of a minority of states, replaced with the same direct election plan that was explicitly rejected by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

How can a minority of states sign a simple contract and create such an election system despite the express words of the Founders? Perhaps NPV hopes that voters won’t ask too many questions.

Joyner believes that the only way Republicans can keep winning is to hope that Democrats keep losing. But there is another way: Remember the purpose of the Electoral College.

As a matter of history, the Electoral College rewards those who do the best job of reaching out to a wide variety of voters. Coalition building leads to success in the Electoral College.

Whichever party is the first to realize this will be the party that starts winning in electoral landslides.

Tara Ross, author

"Why we need the Electoral College"

Popular vote would bring destructive drama

Regarding the column by Matthew Joyner, I'm always amazed by people who opine on the Constitution without having ever actually read it. Article 1 clearly states that "No state shall, without the consent of congress, enter into any agreement or or compact with another state."

Besides, anyone who remembers the vote recount in Florida can only imagine what would happen in a close vote under the popular vote compact.

We would have to have a 50-state recount with all the drama of the single state of Florida. Imagine recounting tens of millions of votes with magnifying glasses and a search for dimpled ballots.

Not only that, voting irregularities in a single state could sway the entire will of every other state.

David Dery, Central Lake

End EPA handouts to big oil

Bio fuel production is a vital source for grain demand, yet farms in Michigan are directly impacted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s handouts to big oil. If this continues, it has potential to destroy ethanol markets and devastate family farms.

These anti-ethanol waivers the EPA continues to hand out to companies allow oil companies to bypass federal bio fuel laws and monopolize the fuel market.

Big oil shouldn’t be able to control the corn and ethanol industries; however, the EPA is making that a reality.

Now is the time to call on President Donald Trump to keep his campaign promises and ask for his support of the agriculture community. While we appreciate the president’s decision to allow year-round E15 sales, we are far away from victory.

Trump must push the EPA in the right direction by ending the abusive exemptions.

Farm families across the state are counting on Trump to revitalize agricultural growth. Please join me in encouraging our policymakers to hold the EPA accountable and put U.S. bio fuels back on a level playing field.

Jeff Sandborn, Portland, Mich.

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