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11/12/2012 4:30:00 PM
Governor wants to end electoral college

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Tired of having Arizona ignored every four years, Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday she's coming around to believing it's time to scrap the electoral college.

Brewer said the system where the president is chosen by electors and not the popular vote probably "served its purpose' when it was made part of the original U.S. Constitution.

"But it's pretty disappointing when you think that just a few states really determine who's been elected president,' the governor said. "And they get all the attention.'

It comes down to pure numbers.

Each state gets two electoral votes for its senators, plus the number of representatives it has. So Arizona, despite its growing population, gets just 11 -- out of 538 nationwide.

So a state like Arizona, which also has been pretty much written off by both sides as a lock for Republicans, gets ignored. Brewer said she figures it would be different if candidates were competing for each and every vote in each and every state.

"If it was a popular vote, I think that all the states would receive attention,' she said.

And Brewer said she feels that way, even realizing that had the 2000 election been decided purely on the popular vote, Democrat Al Gore would have been elected president and not Republican George W. Bush.

"There's upsides and downsides,' she said.

Brewer said the issue goes beyond how much -- or little -- influence Arizona has in the presidential general election. She said the current system results in voters here believing it doesn't really matter how they vote for who is at the top of the ticket.

"I think the public, overwhelmingly from the people I've spoken to, they would like to know that their vote does count, and it was counted together with everybody else's vote, that they were part of that win,' Brewer said.

Still, the governor said that does not minimize the effort by her party in securing those 11 electoral votes for Mitt Romney, the nationwide results notwithstanding.

"We did our job here in Arizona,' she said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Lorise Merkley

I would move back to AZ just to help get rid of it, I think it has long out severed it's purpose and I for one am tired of the election being decided before I even make it to the poles !!!!!
I live in Idaho now and I wish the same for this state.

Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Article comment by: The disgruntled

The party losing the presidential race always has disgruntled people voicing in public and/or in online forums their intention to leave the country and/or push a state succession drive. Nothing comes of these reactions, but if a few actually did leave the states they'll find out soon enough that the people of Costa Rico, Canada or wherever outside the US don't want them as citizens unless they are bringing big money with lots of employment for locals at good wages, otherwise only come and go as a tourist after you've put your vacation funds into their local economies.

Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Article comment by: damiel mcbride

I am in full agreement with removing the electoral college . Also we as a nation should teach civics in our education system from grade4 to graduation so the leaders of the future realize we only count when it comes to footing the bill for BIG governmet. Nuff said .....Discuss please with your family friends everyone

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: Karen Nichols

I live in the foothills of Yuma and there is so many people here that would sign to get rid of electoral college it is not needed anymore.
Lets do it go Jan

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: M.S. Winston

Arizona is ignored because it is RELIABLY red -- just as my state of Maryland is reliably blue. (Accordingly, you can bet that Ohio will be receiving more than its share of attention from the Feds between elections.) Amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College would be extraordinarily time-consuming and difficult. A more expeditious solution is for Arizona to join the growing number of states that do what Maryland has done: pass a statute that decrees that the state's electoral votes will go to the winner of the national popular vote, with such statute not taking effect until sufficient other states comprising 270 electoral votes have adopted such a statute. (I believe a formal movement has been established to push this.) In other words, Arizona needs to trade reliability for relevancy.

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