Letters 10/22: On judges and a popular vote

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The most votes should win

When I vote for one of the senator candidates this fall, I know whoever gets the most votes will definitely win the election. When I vote for state legislators, county commissioners, and every other candidate and question on the ballot, the same thing applies. The only exception to that rule: the president. 

This is absolutely crazy! How can our most important elected official win an election without even getting the most votes? It is because of the way our Electoral College is currently set up.  

Over our history, five presidents have assumed office without winning the most popular votes nationwide, including two of the last three. There have been many other close calls.

I can’t think of anything else where the second place finisher actually wins. The presidency is too important for the second place candidate to prevail. That’s why I am supporting Proposition 113, the National Popular Vote. 

Proposition 113 asks all Colorado voters to approve Colorado’s 2019 law to join the National Popular Vote agreement. Once enough states sign on, the National Popular Vote will make sure the presidential candidate who earns the most votes will actually win. This is a pretty straightforward concept especially since that’s how it works for every other elected office. 

One person should always equal one vote, and Proposition 113 will make sure that bedrock principle of our democracy applies to the presidential election too. Please vote yes on Proposition 113.

Sylvia Bernstein/Boulder

Disappointed in judge recommendation

I was disappointed to find out in the 2020 Vote Guide that the Boulder Weekly had unreservedly recommended that all judges on the ballot be retained.

Since judges’ decisions can crucially change people’s fate, this is a section that warrants some fact-finding. A quick search would have turned up an August 2016 ruling by Judge Butler, which created a local as well as a national uproar at the time. In Boulder County Court, Judge Butler opted for an extremely lenient sentence in the case of a former CU student, who had been convicted of sexual assault by a jury. He ordered two years of work release and 20 years of probation, instead of sending him to state prison, thus sending the message that sexual assault is not as serious as other violent and heinous crimes, at least when committed by a white, privileged young man.

Judge Butler was not the only judge with questionable rulings on this year’s list, and some valid arguments could surely have been made in favor of retaining him.

Recommending his retention without additional scrutiny, however, appears to validate what his controversial 2016 ruling stood for, namely the pervasiveness of white male privilege, and an obvious disregard for the impact of sexual assault on the victim. 

Isabelle Andre/Boulder