There is much misinformation in Randall Lane's op-ed (A Ballot Buddy System, New York Times, December 15, 2008: A31).
Under current electoral college practices, the purported advantage for small states has vanished. Once large states adopted a "winner take all" system, the electoral college votes of the small states were swamped by the large states.
Mr. Lane fails to point out that his suggested solution, the buddy system, is not a new suggestion. Texas and New York explored the something very similar a few years ago.
Finally, he fails to point to an alternative that has been adopted in several states that does not require a constitutional amendment: commitment by state legislatures to give their electoral votes to the winner of the National Popular Vote. This has been passed into law by four states and is in the process of enactment in many others. This process exploits the fact that the selection of electors is delegated to the states so that when enough states to garner 270 electoral votes pass the law it will come into effect.
As your newspaper has endorsed this procedure, I am surprised that Mr. Lane did not mention it.
Sent to New York Times