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Readers sound off on ‘winner-take-all’ voting, infectious disease experts, and the all-time worst mayors of NYC

2020-07-22

Merrick, L.I.: In his piece “The winner-take-all problem” (op-ed, July 13), James Coll asserts that it would be easier to do away with “winner-take-all” voting, in which a state gives all its electoral votes to whomever has won the majority, than to do away with the Electoral College, which would require a constitutional amendment. But if a constitutional amendment were to pass, all states would be forced into proportional representation, or popular vote, at the same time.

Coll’s alternative would be staggered, because, while Democrat-controlled blue states are in favor of the measure, it is invariably opposed by Republican legislators in red states. That means that if all the states took up the measure individually, it would be passed only in blue states. This would give the Republicans an even greater advantage than they have now in the general election. The only fair way to eliminate “winner-take-all” would be if it takes effect in every state at the same time when a constitutional amendment is passed. Leonard Goldstein

Nutley, N.J. The problem with James Coll’s op-ed is his conclusion that “we simply need individual state legislatures to begin acting in the interest of voters instead of their parties.” This, I’m sorry to say, is so naive. We will never address the fairness of the Electoral College when one party’s goal is to suppress the vote with extreme voter ID laws, purging of voter rolls, etc. Last time I checked, there was only one party “acting in the interest of voters” for even the most basic voter rights. Calling out only Democrats to fix a 200-year-old problem seems unfair. Gary Allan

Brooklyn: Is there such a thing as American democracy anymore? Have you heard of gerrymandering, voter suppression, or the Electoral College? What about lobbying? When a big-money special interest donates to a person in power in return for furthering their agenda, how is that not bribery? If you want true democracy, take the money out of politics. Gary Butler

Staten Island: To all the Republican Giuliani-lovers complaining about the recent rise in crime: In 2000, under Mayor Giuliani, there were 952 murders in New York City, up from 903 the previous year. In 2018, under Mayor de Blasio, there were 562 murders, down from 616 in 2014, the year he took office. This is a phenomenal track record. I don’t recall reading any Voice of the People letters in 2000 complaining about the rise in crime under Giuliani. It is very obvious why you are complaining now and not then. John Ottrando

N. Massapequa, L.I.: History will show that de Blasio holds the honor of being the worst NYC mayor to date. A close second was Dinkins, who was too nice a guy to govern this city. Then, also, there was the mayor that killed the golden goose, meaning NYC itself: John Lindsay. Steven Malichek

Brooklyn: Someone is paying for that “Black Lives Matter” mural paint. Basically, it’s to keep big mouths like AOC and de Blasio busy with B.S. so they can feel important. They should spend that money getting guns off the street. I cry every morning reading about the loss of innocent lives, kids that could’ve made a difference, babies. I’m a New Yorker who went to public school: I really don’t care about color like you do. That’s biased politicians, earning off of Black and white B.S. Lisa DeSantis

Brooklyn: Tyler Perry, of the Medea franchise, gave 1,000 Kroger gift cards to Atlanta City police to hand out to the community. I think we need him to school Jay-Z, Chris Rock and Rosie Perez, just to name a few. Come home to NY and take a stand like Perry did. Oprah and Michelle Obama need to go to Chicago and do the same. And so on and so forth. Wake up, Black Hollywood, you have the bucks and the name to get a good word out and make a real difference. Mariann Tepedino

Staten Island: To Voicer Ellen Settanni: I didn’t say that Colin Kaepernick should not protest, kneel or march. That is his right, and all of our rights. I just don’t see the same heroics, or even heroics at all, in someone marching on a street in the U.S. versus someone patrolling the streets of Afghanistan, or someone taking a knee versus taking a bullet. Steven Vosilla

Manhattan: The word “warrior” comes from the Old North French word “werreier,” meaning “a soldier.” It first appeared in English in the 14th century. Soldiers fight in wars. I don’t like wars. So I don’t approve of the NFL football team in Washington, D.C. changing its name to the Washington Warriors. I do, however, approve of the name the Washington Red Tails, which celebrates the Tuskegee Airmen. Ken Frydman

Huntington, L.I.: The problem is solved from within: How about the Washington Harassers? Leonard Stevenson

Staten Island: Just because the CEO of Goya had the audacity to praise President Trump, the whole company should be boycotted? I long for the days when I had the freedom of thought and speech. God help this country if we continue down this path of death by disagreement. Mike Belores

Jamaica: To people who don’t want to wear masks: Stay away from the people who are wearing masks, because we want to live. If you don’t, that’s on you. Your family will be at risk of death, or of surviving, but possibly never being the same. If you believe Trump, well, you probably will die. COVID-19 is real, and it kills people of all ages in different ways. Truly sad! Charlene Black

Astoria: The mayor banned large gatherings, but protests are exempt? Protesters don’t spread the virus and don’t have to practice social distancing, while small businesses suffer with limited customers allowed in their stores? The mayor and his wife have an agenda, and it’s not NYC. Anthony Gigantiello

Brooklyn: War is not going to end mankind, ignorance is. Wear the damn mask! Marty Schatzman

Richmond Hill: In the old monster movies of the 50s and 60s, the first ones consulted about how to destroy the monsters were always the buffoonish army generals, who declared that nothing could stand up to an American-made tank. After the monsters came ashore and crushed the tanks, after we shot them and it did nothing, the government turned to the experts, the scientists, paleontologists, etc. If we are to defeat this virus we must stop listening to our delusional, self-obsessed leaders, from the president on down, and defer to the experts in the field of infectious diseases. Jeff Pullen