There is still a possibility that this election could end up in an Electoral College tie of 269 to 269. If that happens, the next president would be determined by the new House of Representatives, with each state casting one vote.
Thus, California, where nearly one in eight Americans live, with 53 members in the House, would have the same power as Wyoming, a state with a lone representative in the House and a declining population.
The obvious flaw here — that the person who gets the most votes does not necessarily win — could be neutralized by the National Popular Vote Compact, in which all of a participating state’s electoral votes are pledged to the winner of the national popular vote.
On Tuesday, Colorado voters approved joining the compact, which now has 15 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 196 electoral votes. More states are needed to push it past the 270-vote margin where it could go into effect. But for now, it’s the best vehicle for bringing the American system closer to one that reflects the will of the people.
Ah, the will of people. Who knows what the hell that is. Yes, it’s karmic justice that three of the states pivotal in electing Mr. Trump — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — now look like three that will fire him. And for that slim majority, and the rest of us, may mourning in America soon turn to morning in America.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: [email protected].
Timothy Egan (@nytegan) is a contributing opinion writer who covers the environment, the American West and politics. He is a winner of the National Book Award and author, most recently, of “A Pilgrimage to Eternity.”