PHOENIX — The Electoral College is working pretty well as is, an Arizona senator said Monday, the day electors all across the country meet to cast their votes for president of the United States.
President-elect Donald Trump captured the White House in November with 306 electoral votes to 232 for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.
“I love it,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “It emphasizes our federal system. It changes the way people campaign. We wouldn’t have candidates visit a lot of the states they visit (if not for the Electoral College).”
The Electoral College, generally taken for granted after the election, has made news of late after it was revealed that many electors have been besieged by anti-Trump protesters.
Arizona’s 11 votes were pledged to Trump when he easily captured the state in the general election. Since then, some of the voters, including state GOP Chairman Robert Graham, said they have have worried for their safety but were standing by their vote.
The group voted Monday morning at the state Capitol. All 11 voted for Trump.
Flake was a vocal opponent of Trump but said the Electoral College did its job.
“I like the fact that we just don’t go with the popular vote.”
He did say the process could do with a tweak or two, including “Iowa receiving outsized influence, maybe, or New Hampshire.”
Those states figure heavily in primary elections because they happen so early. Both took place in February. New Hampshire chooses its convention delegates in the country’s first primary, although Iowa’s Caucuses are the first electoral contest.
Now Flake, like the rest of the U.S. Congress and the nation, awaits Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“I didn’t support Donald Trump … but he was elected. I’ll work with him when I can and oppose him when I have to,” Flake said.