Alaska irrelevant in presidential election

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Claiming to be a supporter of neither George Bush or John Kerry, perhaps I can offer an observation about our practice of democracy. While being told of the importance of registering to vote and that the vote counts, all I see on the news are forecasts of the Electoral College totals.

Idealistically, we might believe that the candidate with the majority of the people's vote would be deemed the winner - the people's choice. The popular vote, however, seems to be deemed largely irrelevant. The winner of the presidency can actually lose the popular vote by more than half a million (or by about the population of Alaska).

My point: We have begun to accept this. Should I cast a vote for a presidential candidate? Should I care, in view of our meager contributions to the Electoral College? It seems this system of electing a president has consigned to irrelevancy the popular vote, as it has similarly consigned Alaska to irrelevancy.

Maybe after we sort out how we can democratically replace a senator, we can push for a more democratic method of electing our president, where each Alaskan vote will count.

Chris McMaster


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