Electoral College: Pros & Cons
The Electoral College has been in the news a lot lately. In the recent election the loser received almost two million votes more than the winner.
To most of us that makes little sense.
Didn’t the voters voice their choice by a sizable margin? Why is Hillary Clinton not the 45th President of the United States?
She is not because of the 12th Amendment to the US Constitution — The Electoral College.
How The EC Works
Each state has Electoral Points or votes based on its population.
One Electoral vote for each representative and one for each senator. Montana has three electoral votes for each of our two senators and one representative.
California by contrast has 55. It takes a total of 270 Electoral votes to win an election.
If no candidate receives 270 electoral votes then the House of Representatives elects the president.
Why The EC Is A Bad Idea
If the people vote for a particular presidential candidate and that candidate gets the most votes shouldn’t they be declared the president?
That’s how we do it in our states with Governors and all our legislators? Seems to work OK there.
From the voters point of view it would seem that the voice of the people is made irrelevant. One man — one vote so to speak goes out the window.
Why would any other system be necessary?
Why The EC Is A Good Idea
California has 17.9 million registered voters—as of May 2016 and 55 Electoral Votes. It always votes Democrat.
Montana has 648,764 registered voters giving them 3 electoral votes and usually always votes Republican.
Quite a difference between the two states in the number of eligible voters when it comes to picking a president for the entire nation.
There is no way the voters in Montana could ever overcome the voters in California.
Illinois has 20 Electoral Votes and has voted Democrat in the past 7 elections. The same can be said for New York with 29 Electoral Votes.
Those three states, out of fifty, will get you 104 Electoral Votes nearly half of the 270 needed to win.
In all, the popular vote of just eleven states or less could decide the presidency every year. Thirty-nine or more states would be irrelevant.
There would be no need to even bother campaigning there.
The founding fathers wanted a way that no matter how many votes a candidate got in any single state all states would have at least some say in the final tally.
Some Final Thoughts
Whichever side you come down on, it would be very hard to abolish the Electoral College in favor of popular vote.
It’s the 12th Amendment to the US Constitution. It would have to be overridden by ¾ of the states and I doubt the smaller states would like to lose what little power they have left.
Even California, Illinois, and New York would probably vote to keep the current system.
It’s the closest thing to a level playing field for all states in a presidential election. How do you vote on the Electoral College?