As dusk was falling Monday on the east coast, the candidates were still on the campaign trail, wrapping up one last full day before the 2020 Presidential election.
As in past years, most of the energies are devoted to swing states, most notably Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. That’s where the 2020 Presidential race is decided. Not surprisingly, New York isn’t part of that mix.
We probably have to go back to the days of FDR when a candidate for the nation’s highest office made an appearance anywhere near the Mid Hudson Valley. Franklin Delano Roosevelt would go home to cast his vote in Hyde Park. He would then motorcade through the Hudson Valley, with stops in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, where thousands would greet him as his car passed under giant “Vote Republican” banners in front of City Hall. He called it his lucky charm. He did it when he was Governor of the State of New York and later when he was President.
The Electoral College system, which has been in effect since 1787, means that we don’t choose a president. We choose “electors” who gather after Election Day to select a president. A state’s number of electors equals the number of representatives and senators the state has in the United States Congress. Currently, there are a total of 538 electors.
The prevailing thought among the framers of the Constitution, was that “A small number of persons… will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated [tasks]” according to Alexander Hamilton. That notion that we cannot all gather enough information to make a responsible decision is antiquated. It dates back to a time when voters would never have the opportunity to see or hear each candidate. In modern times we can all watch televised debates and gather political news from our network of choice.
That’s why the system needs to be updated. We need to amend the Constitution to allow every voter an equal say in who will be our president.