The electoral college is a group of people chosen by every state who officially elects the president and vice president of the united states. The electoral college started with the constitution of the united states, it cited how many electors each state is able to have. Since 1964 the has been 538 electors in each presidential election. The number of electors is equivalent to the entire membership of the united states congress, 435 representatives, 100 senators, and 3 electors from the district of Columbia.
The democratic candidate and the republican candidate are both trying to add up the electors in every state so that they beat 270 electoral votes, or just over half of 538 votes and achieve presidency. In a fair democracy everyone’s vote should count equally, but the approach the united states take to elect their president defies this principle by confirming that some people’s votes are more equal than others. The electoral college is typically 538 votes determines presidency, if these votes were split evenly across the population every 574,000 people will be characterized by one vote.
But that’s not what happens because the electoral college does not give votes to people, only states, which has some unfair consequences. For example, there are 11,500,00 people in Ohio, so to fairly represent them it should get 20 electoral votes, but the electoral college does not give Ohio 20 votes it only gets 18, two less than it should. Those other votes go to states like Rhode Island, that only has 1. 1 million people in it, so it should have two votes, but instead it gets 4. Those extra two votes that should be representing Ohio, goes to representing Rhode Island instead.
This is because according to the rules of the electoral college every state no matter how few people live there get three votes to start off with before the rest are distributed according to population. Because of this rule there are a lot of states with a few people that should only have one or two votes for president, but instead get three or four. Because of this vote distribution the electoral college pretends that fewer people live where they do and more people live where they don’t. An american who lives in certain states has the vote count for less than other states.
In some cases the electoral college bends the results just a little bit, but if you live in a particular large or small states it bends them a lot. One vermontian vote according to the electoral college is worth three texin votes, and wyomingite vote is worth four california votes. The whole point of the electoral college is to protect the small states from the big states, give the small states more voting power and the presidential candidates will have to pay them more attention in the election. If that’s the goal of the electoral college they are failing badly.
The electoral college does not make candidates care about small states. Looking closer just four states received the majority of the candidates attention during the election and if you follow the money it’s the same story. Why do candidates spend so much money and time in so few states? Because the way the electoral college works forces them to do so. The elections are winner takes all, as long as a candidate gets just over 51% of the popular vote in a state, he wins 100% of that state’s electoral votes. That means winning by millions of citizens votes is no better than winning by a single vote.
So candidates are safe to ignore states with a pole with big margins. Instead the electoral college makes candidates intensely interested in the needs of just a few states with close races to the detriment of almost all americans which is why it should be abolished. Defenders of the electoral college might say, would abolishing it and voting directly for president cause candidates to spend all their time in big cities, that wouldn’t be fair to most americans either. It sounds like a reasonable fear but it ignores the mathematical reality of population distribution.
There are 300 million people in the united states, only 8 million people live in new york, the largest city by far. Thats 2. 6% of the total population, but after new york the size of cities drops fast. L. A. has 3. 8 million people and chicago has 2. 7, but you can’t even make it to the 10th biggest city san jose before you’re under a million people. The top ten biggest cities put together only 7. 9% of the popular vote, hardly enough to win an election. And even winning the next 90 biggest cities in the united states all the way down to spokane is still not yet 20% of the total population.
So unless there’s a city with a few hundred million people hiding somewhere in america that been forgotten, the idea that candidates can just spend the campaign jetting between new york, L. A. , and chicago while ignoring everyone else, and still become president is mathematically ludacris. By taking advantage of the unfair rules and winning states not people, you’ve won a majority in the electoral college. Even though 78% of the population voted against you. This is not democracy, this is indefensible. While this particularly scenario is unlikely, if you have a voting system that allows losers to win, you shouldn’t be surprised when they do.
Not once, not twice, but three times in american history the candidates with the most votes from the people actually lost because of the electoral. Three errors in 55 plus elections is a failure rate of 5%. Would anyone tolerate a sport where because of the rules the is a 5% chance that the loser would win, not likely. Giving how much more important electing the president of the United States is a rather dangerously high percentage of the time to get it wrong. If we abolish the electoral college and simply let citizens vote for the president directly, all of these problems would go away and everyone’s vote would be equal.