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.