What Is The Electoral College?
2016 was the most recent election where there was controversy regarding the electoral college. Even though Donald Trump lost the popular vote by almost 3 million, he won the election because he gained 74 more Electoral College votes. This has only happened four times in America’s history, most of them dating back to the 1800s.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, what is the Electoral College? The system is made up of 538 electors from all 50 states. These people are voted in by their political parties, and they are the ones that determine the President and Vice-President. With that being said, the citizens’ votes don’t really matter. Therefore, the severely outdated Electoral College must be abolished so that the president can be elected more fairly.
Why The Electoral College Is Outdated
This ancient system was created in 1788 by the Founding Fathers as a way to ensure the most qualified people were making the decision of who would be in office. Keep in mind that this was a time when there were many uneducated, ill-informed citizens. The Electoral College was a way to safeguard against these people. However, that reason is completely irrelevant today. Luckily, society now has the proper resources and technology that enable citizens to gather the information necessary in order to make good decisions.
The system was also thought to be bias-free among the voters. Unfortunately, electoral voters are already expected to vote for their party candidates, completely disregarding their own opinions. Finally, keeping the Electoral College would allow just 538 people to decide the president rather than roughly 300 million US citizens. By allowing this, the people’s voices don’t have any effect on the outcome of elections. So, what’s the point of even voting?
Supporters of the Electoral College make the argument that abolishing the system will give larger states more power. Eric Levitz of Intelligencer, a supporter of abolishing the Electoral College, provides us with the quote from the opposing side: “counting votes equally would give voters in populous states too much power.” This quote refers to California, where twelve percent of the population lives. The quote is really just a different way of saying that one doesn’t agree with democracy because voting is a right that we have by living in a democratic country! Not only that, why should people who live in bigger cities/states be undeserving of democratic equality? Populous states should have the same equality as other smaller states when it comes to voting.
Progressive Efforts Thrown Away
States all over the country have been actively trying to get rid of the Electoral College and replace it with a national popular vote. Progress was happening until a federal appeals court ruled on August 20th that electors would have the absolute right to vote for whichever candidate they wanted. This may sound beneficial at first, but states were trying to pass laws where electors would be required to vote for the national popular vote leader. In addition, electors would now be able to drastically change the leading candidate.
As it stands right now, abolishing the Electoral College will not be an easy fight. In order to eliminate it, the government would have to create a Constitutional amendment. Doing that would require two-thirds of the House of Representatives to agree on it. Considering the deep divide in the US at the moment, that’s going to be an arduous task. Hopefully, in the near future, the Electoral College will be gone, or new laws will be passed to decrease the influence of the system. However, a way that we can spread awareness is to post about it on social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Creating, advertising, and signing petitions is another great way to spread the word. As a country, we need to fight to end the unfairness so that our voices can finally be heard and reflected through the 2020 election.