U.S. voting process needs major reforms

After reading Denise Jewell Gee’s column about New York possibly changing its Electoral College method, and the “stop barriers to voting” column, I offer these ideas:

• First dibs go to our men and women in the armed forces. They fight for our freedoms; give them the first crack at the vote.

• If you can’t be in your hometown on Election Day, you must give a legitimate reason in order to obtain an absentee ballot.

• If you believe that society owes you something just for existing, don’t vote.

• People should be able to read, write and communicate in English – take something like U.S. History/Civics 101, and pass with an acceptable grade – before being allowed to vote.

• Since Puerto Rico, Guam and other territories are not yet states, remove the District of Columbia from the presidential vote.

• What is now called Western New York should vote under the name of Niagara, with five electoral votes, thus making the national total 540, with 271 needed to win.

• End “winner-take-all” nationwide. Nebraska and Maine should be the national standard, where their electoral votes are divided among the several congressional districts; who wins the most districts gets the extra two senatorial votes. This way, a truer picture of the interests and values of the American people would emerge, as opposed to the current method where the tightly concentrated, large megalopoli skew the vote, thus giving them an unfair air of superiority over their supposedly “unsophisticated” brethren.

Doing the above would make our electoral system more honest.

Lloyd A. Marshall Jr.