Former Maine governor Paul LePage said that eliminating the Electoral College in favor of a popular vote would render whites a “forgotten people” while speaking to the hosts of the WVOM morning show this week, as Talking Points Memo points out. The comment comes in response to a bill currently being considered by Maine’s legislature to join other states looking to nullify the Electoral College.
“What would happen—if they do what they say they’re going to do—is white people will not have anything to say,” LePage said of the efforts. “It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida … We’re gonna be forgotten people.”
LePage, who has previously come under fire for referring to people of color as “the enemy,” (among other slur-laden vitriol through the years) dismisses the fact that the Electoral College silences and misrepresents the voices of those who aren’t registered in the handful of battleground swing states.
A popular vote wouldn’t silence votes. It would make votes count equally.
The Electoral College, a uniquely American system, has faced wide debate over whether its function is outdated and undemocratic. Maine’s current bill consideration (preceded by the actions of other states like California, Vermont, Illinois and Colorado) is hardly originative, however; there have been numerous attempts to reform the Electoral College over the past 200 years, including over 700 attempts to amend or eliminate it, for a more definitive figure.
Reforming the relic that is the Electoral College wouldn’t yield the white demographic, the demographic both historically and presently the most prominently represented at all levels of government, a “forgotten people.” Reforming the Electoral College would finally grant voice to a great and diverse population of American voters who have long been the forgotten people.