Letter to the Editor

Weighted voting

San Luis ObispoJune 19, 2014 

In her June 18 letter to the editor, Penny Koines stated, “At no time and in no place have I ever seen ‘weighted voting ...’ ”

The formula for determining the number of electors each state gets for electing the president of the United States is actually weighted to the benefit of states with small populations. Four presidents have been elected without receiving the popular vote in our nation’s history, most recently in 2000. The composition of the Senate also reflects this, although the original intent was to provide parity between the states as units of government.

A historical example was counting slaves as 3/5 of a person until the Civil War. Because slaves could not vote, this gave the white adult males of slave states a weighted advantage in determining their congressional delegation to the House. Since slaves were considered property, representation in the House was weighted based on a type of property until slavery was abolished.

I won’t comment on the right formula for representation to the proposed Paso Robles Groundwater Basin board because, like Ms. Koines, I am not a resident of that area. However, arguments put forth in public forums such as letters to the editor should be factually correct, and thereby more robust.

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