Home / Why The Electoral College Should be Eliminated

Why The Electoral College Should be Eliminated

The presidential elections are a long way off, and though some pundits are talking about the 2016 presidential contest, there is certainly a lull in news about the next race for the White House. With chatter at a minimum for the near future, it seems like as good a time as any to talk about the Electoral College.

Do you know that when you find time in your hectic schedule to stop by the local polling place to cast your vote for America’s chief that you aren’t actually voting for the candidate of your choice? You are actually voting for your state’s Electors. These Electors, through an American oddity known as the Electoral College, vote for the next president.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Our Founding Fathers were very wise, but they were not perfect. They created a system of government that has withstood over two-hundred sometimes tumultuous years of drastic change and evolution. However, changes have been made over the decades to correct a few of the flaws, and another change is long overdue. The Electoral College isn’t a nerdy college with an incredible physics department and an awful basketball team ; it is an archaic quirk from a time without dominant political parties and was meant to create a cleaner election process. However, it now causes more controversy and confusion than our Founding Fathers could have ever imagined. It is time for the United States to abolish this remnant of our distant past and install an election process where every citizen’s vote counts the same.

When the United States was formed, there was no radio, television, or Internet. There wasn’t even a Pony Express or a trans-continental train; news traveled very, very slowly. Our Founding Fathers felt that it was impractical and nearly impossible to hold an election in a vast country, collect the votes, and then transport them to the capital to be counted. The Electors were educated and worldly men, who understood politics far better than the average farmer or hick from the sticks. They were appointed by the states, and entrusted with the hopes and wishes of the average citizen, who neither had the time, the education, nor the inclination to comprehend the complexity of politics.

Not only has technology rendered the Electoral College obsolete, its flaws have become more apparent as population has increased exponentially in certain states. The Electoral College provides greater representation to states with smaller populations; Wyoming’s votes count more than the ones from California. Wyoming has three electoral votes ( two senators and one member of the House of Representatives) and about 576,000 residents. California has 55 electoral votes ( 2 senators and 53 members of the House of Representatives) and a population of 38 million. By dividing the population of each state by its electoral votes, we can determine that Wyoming has one electoral vote for every 192,000 citizens, while California has one electoral vote for approximately every 690,900 residents.

One man (or woman), one vote isn’t a good description of the Electoral College. The popular vote doesn’t matter, and it will continue to be irrelevant until we dump the Electoral College; like a naked Lena Dunham on Girls, the Electoral College has outlived it’s usefulness. Using only the popular vote to determine the winner of our presidential elections will not only make more sense, it will make every American’s vote equal and important.

Featured image from WikimediaCommons

About Fred Phillips

  • Jessica 981

    It’s high time to kill it. Its out dated.

  • toto

    To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    Instead, by state laws, without changing anything in the Constitution, The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).
    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent or past closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.
    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 32 state legislative chambers in 21 rural, small, medium, and large states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes – 50.4% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

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  • SGTJBO

    EVER SINCE MY FATHER EXPLAINED THE ELECTION PROCESS DURING THE JFK ELECTION I HAVEBEEN AGAINST THE ENTIRE FEDERAL ELECTION PROCESS FROM THE ELECTORAL VOTE WTO THE CAMPAIGN FUND RAISERS. #1 WE KNOW THE VOTE OF WE THE PEOPLE DOSE NOT EVEN COUNT. EVEN WORSE A VOTE IN A BIG STATE CARRYS SO MUCH MORE WEIGHT IN THE END. HELL THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES CAN BE DETERMINED BY THE VOTE IN AS FEW AS A HANDFUL OF STATES TOTALLING 270 ELECTORAL VOTES WHICH COULD IN FACT BE NO INDICATION OF A MAJORITY VOTE OF WE THE PEOPLE. WHAT KIND OF IDIOT WOULD SPEND 275 MILLION IN A PRESIDENTIAL BID. YOU ARE LOOKING AT AMUSLIM HYPOCRITE WHOSE CONTRIBUTIONS BOUGHT THE OFFIC TWICE AND YOU THE PEOPLE LET IT HAPPEN. WHEN NON-AMERICANS FINANCE THE BID THEY ARE SMARTER THAN OUR OWN GOV WITH MONEY. BUY 10 STATES AND IT IS OVER.
    HOW MUCH LONGER ARE WE THE PEOPLE GOING TO ALLOW AN ANCIENT SYSTEM CONTROL OUR COUNTRY.TIME IS SHORT IF YOU ARE A PATRIOT TO THIS NATION.HELL WITH DEALING WITH SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM. WE CAN GET TO THE VERY ROOT OF THE PROBLEM WITH ONE CHANGE. I PRAY FOR THIS NATION CREATED UNDER GOD WITH THE BASIC BELIE F THAT ALL CITIZENS ARE EQUAL UNDER GOD AND THE LAW.LET’S NOT WAIT TOO LONG BEFORE AMERICA STANDS TOGETHER. BECAUSE IF YOU DO NOT THINK A GROUP OF PATROITS COULD RUN THIS COUNTRY BETTER THAN THE SORRIEST EXCUSE OF ELECTED POLITICIANS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR NATION, YOU ARE NO LESS BIGGOTED THAN ALL OF WASHINGTON IS. TIME FOR CHANGE