Even if the vote is close, and someone wins by just a little, tiny hair,

electors give that person all their votes, and it's considered fair and square!

– “I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College,” Schoolhouse Rock

It's tough not to feel a little blue in New York State these days.

We've been neglected, with all that love from President Obama and Mitt Romney going to places like Ohio, Virginia and Florida. Even tiny New Hampshire's four electoral votes earned a campaign visit Saturday.

Never mind the red states and blue states. All anybody will care about Tuesday night are the grand prizes known as swing states.

It's easy to blame that esoteric concept known as the Electoral College. But a solution might be in the hands of state legislators.

Who, before 2000, even thought about the Electoral College since their days of civics class? Now, in the final days of a seemingly endless presidential battle, it's on everybody's mind.

Just like the rest of the country, we've lived through 22 months of political gaffes, partisan rhetoric and endless predictions. Most of us are as tired of this race as 4-year-old Abigael Evans, whose tearful declaration that she was sick of “Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney” went viral last week.

All this, for what? To be told that no matter which presidential candidate you choose at the polls, the winner in New York State has already been foretold?

The candidates know it. The campaigns know it. We know it.

You hardly hear a peep from a presidential candidate in New York unless they're looking for money.

The Electoral College has rendered New York voters about as useful as Congress is these days. Its state-by-state system has relegated Western New Yorkers to virtual sideline spectators of presidential elections.

No wonder New York's turnout, even in record-setting 2008, was in the bottom quarter. It's hard to get excited when we have been taken for granted.

And then there's the remote possibility that there will be another popular vote that doesn't match the outcome of the Electoral College – further eroding people's faith in politics.

So why do we continue with this archaic system, one dreamt up by Founding Fathers who couldn't have imagined a world in which a 4-year-old in Colorado would be so saturated by presidential election news she would be moved to tears?

There's plenty of popular support for scrapping the Electoral College, but changing the Constitution is – for good reason – an uphill battle.

Here's the intriguing thing: The Constitution parcels out the country's 538 electoral votes to the states, but it's up to each state to determine how those electors will cast their votes. In all but two, Maine and Nebraska, there's a winner-take-all system in which all of the electoral votes go to the victor of the state – no matter how close the margin of victory.

All it would take is a state bill to change how New York divvies up its 29 electoral votes from an all-or-nothing system to something that better represents how New Yorkers voted.

It might just be the next best thing to dumping the outdated proxy system we call a presidential election.


You hardly hear a peep from a presidential candidate in New York unless they're looking for money.