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With the voting over, now is a good time to look at the problems of our election system. There is no natural reason for this area to be the electoral vortex it has become. Without the Electoral College to create winners and losers in states before a single ballot is ever cast, we in Pennsylvania and especially our long-suffering neighbors in Ohio wouldn't be subjected to such intense and constant advertising. If everyone's vote counted equally politicians would have an incentive to seek votes everywhere and more than $100 million wouldn't be spent in just one state.
Then there are the elections for the House of Representatives. Despite being in such an evenly balanced state, only a single House race was as close as the presidential election. Because the lines are deliberately drawn to protect the seats of whichever party controlled the state government after the last census, the districts stretch and wander over the state. Right now the districts favor the GOP. More Pennsylvanians voted for Democratic candidates for the House, yet 13 Republicans were elected and only five Democrats.
It's long past time to fix these problems. Pennsylvania should set up an independent nonpartisan redistricting board and it should also join the interstate compact to ensure that the winner of the popular vote always wins the presidential election.
First Published November 12, 2012 12:00 am