The people of Iowa once again showed they are among the most civically-minded in the nation, thanks to their turnout in the 2016 general election. More than 1.58 million Iowans made their voice heard. Iowa’s 72 percent turnout ranks among the top five states in the country for voter participation.
I would like to personally thank everyone who took the time to cast a ballot. Increasing voter participation is one of the primary goals of my administration, and while a top five finish is very good, I want Iowa to be number one.
On Monday, December 19, the Republican Party of Iowa’s six electors will come to Des Moines to cast our state’s official votes for president and vice-president of the United States. Similar ceremonies will take place across the country. This action is a necessary step in the official process of selecting our next president. There has been a lot of talk since Election Day, mainly from people upset with the outcome, that we should abolish the Electoral College and select our president through a popular vote. This line of thinking is contrary to what our Founding Fathers envisioned for the United States and enshrined in our U.S. Constitution. They did not construct a pure democracy. The U.S. was designed as a representative republic, giving power to the states, instead of a bloated, centralized federal government. It was Alexander Hamilton, first U.S. secretary of the Treasury, who advocated most strongly for the Electoral College.
A national popular vote would render Iowa and most other Midwestern states practically meaningless in the presidential election process. Candidates would no longer campaign here. The Iowa Caucuses would become obsolete. We would never be able to vet the candidates or ask them questions about their stances on the issues most important to us, because the entire focus of their campaigns would be on the most populous cities and states in the country, like New York, California and Texas. Attempts from rural voters to make their voices heard would be futile.
The Electoral College requires candidates to appeal to all of America, not just its top population centers. Iowa feeds the world and we deserve to have our issues discussed on a national level. We take our civic duty very seriously in Iowa, from the caucuses all the way to the general election. Thank you to the 1,581,371 of you who cast a ballot.