December 14, 2004
Arizona got lots of attention from presidential candidates this year with its 10 electoral votes up for grabs. But now Gov. Janet Napolitano says it may be time to rethink the process used to elect a president.
Napolitano’s comments came as the 10 Republicans pledged to vote for George W. Bush came to the state Capitol on Monday to formally cast their votes for his reelection, a process repeated nationwide. It was Bush’s ability to gather 286 electoral votes on Monday — more than half the 538 cast — and not the Nov. 2 popular vote that made him the president.
In fact, it didn’t become official even though more Arizonans voted for Bush — or, at least, his electors — on Nov. 2 than voted for Kerry’s slate.
The U.S. Constitution makes the election occur only when those electors actually cast their votes.
Napolitano said perhaps the system, which goes back to the first days of the United States, has passed its prime.
"I think we all understand its historical underpinnings and why the Founding Fathers set a system up the way they did,’’ she said. "But in this day and age when we . . . elect everybody else by a popular vote, it seems to me that we ought to rethink the Electoral College.’’