Blog #6 – The Electoral College.

Hi I’m Sidra and today I’m gonna teach you about the electoral college and why it is completely unnecessary!

To start, the electoral college is a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.

It was a system of voting created in 1787 because, get this, the upper class at the time feared that if the vote for president was entirely up to the people then the lower class would make an “uneducated” vote or try to vote the upper class out of their power. Because of this completely valid reason, the delegates said, “hey, let’s do something that essentially takes the power of voting away from the people!” And thus, the electoral college was born.

Here’s how it works:

Each state has a number of “electors”. The college is made up of 538 of these electors. (This is the collective number of the nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and the 3 electors given to the District of Columbia).

The number of electors a state gets is equal to the number of Representatives and Senators they have. For example, since California has 2 Senators and 53 Representatives in its House, California get’s 55 electors to their state.

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Electors vote in the electoral college based on the popular vote of their state. (The popular vote is the votes counted from when American’s 18 and older walk over to the polls and put a check next to who they want their President to be). Let’s use New Jersey in the 2016 election for example. If Jersey goes blue and Hillary Clinton wins in their state, the electors for New Jersey will go and place their vote for the Democratic party. However, there are these people called “faithless electors” who don’t vote based on their states vote. Basically if Jersey went blue but Tim the New Jersey Elector wanted to vote for Trump, Tim the New Jersey Elector could place his vote for the Republican party instead.

Now, you may be thinking, “So what seems to be the problem, Sidra? The electoral college sounds alright to me.” Well I’ll tell ya.

It’s no secret that the Electoral College messes with the whole “one-person, one-vote” principle of democracy because electoral votes aren’t distributed based off of population. This system causes significant over representation of small states. The article linked explains that because of this over representation, a citizen in Wyoming has more than triple the weight in electoral votes as an individual in California. Doesn’t sound very equal, does it?

Another problem among the many of the Electoral College is that it persuades the presidential candidates to do most of their campaigning in the states with a bigger population, i.e, New York, California, and Texas. This makes smaller states feel as if their vote doesn’t matter, causing many to just not vote at all which in turn leads to problems in polling.

However, the Electoral College isn’t really all bad. For some it’s a second chance for America to “make the right choice”. For example, for all my Hillary supporters out there, lets’s say Trump won the popular vote…which he didn’t…he lost by millions…because America did not want him to be our president…but let’s just say he did! Anyway, there has been a history of a candidate losing the popular vote but winning the electoral college and thus winning the election. In this situation, there’s still a chance for the “preferred” candidate to win the election.

Overall, the Electoral College is an unnecessary addition to the election process that was created during the beginnings of America for a reason that is hardly relevant in America today. If anything, the only reason the Electoral College should be kept in place is because it gives a second chance for at voting for the preferred candidate.

The Electoral College has overcomplicated the election process and is no longer needed.

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One thought on “Blog #6 – The Electoral College.

  1. Well, well, well, look who got their writing swagger back! This is the Sidra I remember from last year, strongly opinionated, biting wit, yet all the while weaving essential historical information covered in class into your writing. Well done. I do however have to challenge you on one of your points. You state:

    “Another problem among the many of the Electoral College is that it persuades the presidential candidates to do most of their campaigning in the states with a bigger population, i.e, New York, California, and Texas. This makes smaller states feel as if their vote doesn’t matter, causing many to just not vote at all which in turn leads to problems in polling.”

    I happen to think that the Electoral College does more to persuade the presidential candidates to campaign more aggressively in the small states than if there were no Electoral College at all and I think this last election proves that. Hillary Clinton won the majorities in 20 of the 50 states. Two of the states that Clinton won included New York and California, both of which you stated would be the focus of presidential candidates because of the Electoral College and the number of Electors each of these states carry. However, Donald Trump won 30 of the 50 States, many of which were the smaller states that carried far less electors than New York and California. It is precisely because of the Electoral College that he did not neglect the smaller states, and thus won the election. This was a criticism of the Clinton campaign. Had she campaigned harder in these smaller states and won their electors, she would have won the election.

    PS: I had to rush this a bit and was not able to proof it because I did it during a prep. The bell is going to ring in exactly 2 minutes so I have to go. TTYL!

    Liked by 1 person

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