The Electoral college is a very controversial subject that has a big impact on American history. Every four years, people vote for the president… Or do they? You actually vote for electors that represent your state, and the bigger states get more electors. Sounds perfect right? Wrong. The way the electors are distributed is not perfect, and three times in American history, the person who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote. That happened in 1888, 2000, and 2016.
Because of this, electoral college should be abolished because it is outdated, it does not always reflect the popular vote, and it causes candidates to only campaign in certain states. The electoral college does not always reflect the popular vote. The popular vote is gotten by determining what candidate in an election got the most votes. Most of the time, the electoral vote is the same as the popular vote. However, three times in American history, those two votes did not match. Those years were 1888, 2000, and 2016.
In 1888 Harrison won over Cleveland, in 2000, Bush won over Gore, and in 2016, Trump aka rasist guy won over Clinton, even though Clinton got a few million more votes than Trump. The American people clearly showed support for Clinton, but this outdated system won Trump the election. You might be wondering how this system works. Well, each state has a set number of electors. Bigger states get more electors, but there is less people per electors than in smaller states. These electors vote for the president. A president needs 270 votes to become president.
If no one gets 270 votes, the House of Representatives elects the president. You can win the presidency with only 21. 8% of the popular vote. That’s less than a quarter of the people! Do we really want a president in office that only got that many votes? That does not sound very democratic. The only way I am okay with that is if, say five or more candidates ran, but that is unlikely to happen. According to Tyler Lewis, to do that you need win just over 50% of the vote in washington D. C. and 39 small states. Then, you become president.
Imagine the uproar that would cause! If we abolish the electoral college, than a candidate would actually have to get a majority to win. The only way you would get less than 50% of the vote and win is if there are three or more candidates running. This sounds much more democratic. The electoral college is very outdated. It worked in 1787, but it does not work in 2017. It 1787, many people did not know about politics, but in 2017, the internet means that most people know a lot about politics. In 1787, women and slaves were banned from voting.
The founding fathers were worried that the majority would not elect qualified presidents. Those days are over. People are qualified. According to Dan Glickman, “The Electoral College disenfranchises millions of American voters because of the “winner take all” approach in 48 of 50 states. ” Because of this, only swing states, like Florida and Ohio, has the votes of the citizens truly matter. The other states which always vote for one party has the minority not really matter because of the winner take all system.
The only way to fix the is the get rid of the electoral college, or at least heavily revise it. Now many people wonder, how is it outdated? In 1787, when the constitution was first drafted, America was a much different place. Back then there were 13 states. Now there are 50. People did not leave their home town where they were born back in 1787. Now people can move around much more easily. In 1787, there was no TV, no Internet, no radio. It was a lot harder for people to find out information.
Now in 2017, all you have to do to learn about the candidates is to type in, say “Donald Trump”, and you will get all you need to know about him. Americans are generally more knowledgeable about their nation. This country has changed so much since 1787, the electoral college no longer works. Candidates only campaign in certain states. They only campaign in swing states. There are two types of states, swing states and safe states. Swing states can vote for either side. Candidates spend most of their time in swing states with many electoral votes, like Florida, Ohio, or North Carolina.
There are other swing states, but those are the ones that really matter because they have the most electoral votes. Safe states are states that mostly vote either democratic, like California, or Republican, like Texas. According to Tyler Lewis, a candidate can win all of the electoral votes in 48 out of 50 states by winning 50. 01% of the vote. So in reality, only a select four or five states really matter in presidential elections. This is not the way America should run it’s democracy.
Now there is one very big reason the electoral college should be abolished. It is called faithless electors. Now there are tons of arguments against the electoral college, but this one is by far the strongest. In most elections, the person who wins the electoral vote wins the popular vote. But it is actually possible to win the presidency with zero percent of the popular vote. Even though the 21. 8% was mentioned earlier in this essay, that number is gotten is assuming all the electoral voters vote for who they are supposed to be voting for.
According to Tyler Lewis, “While electors are generally extremely loyal to the party they align with, they don’t have to vote the way the people of their state instructed them to. In other words, just because a candidate won the popular vote in your state does not mean that your electors have to cast a vote for said candidate themselves. ” What Tyler Lewis is stating there is that electors can vote for whoever they want! So one person can override the decision made by thousands, if not millions, of people! A person who does not vote for their states candidate is called a faithless elector.
Sure, this rarely happens because some states have penalties if you do this and it has never happened enough to directly affect the results of the election, but the plain fact that this can even happen in the first place is a threat to America’s democracy. Now there are some people that want to keep the electoral college. After all those reasons so far, these reasons they present make no sense whatsoever. According to USA Today, “If the national popular vote were the ultimate decider, candidates would gravitate toward the voter-rich big cities and their suburbs and ignore everyone else.
Well, USA Today, I know this outdated system will help your precious evil crazy republican Trump dude become president, but it is not democratic. I’m sorry farm guys, but if cities make up the majority, then the interests of the cities will be followed. That’s what democracy is all about! And they also say that candidates will only campaign in suburbs and cities. Well, under this current system, they only campaign in swing states! Man, this article is just a bunch of excuses. And there are more examples. Sigh.
There is another example USA Today uses to justify the electoral college. And it also makes no sense. They claim that “Imagine for a moment what would happen when New Yorkers, reliably Democratic in presidential elections, learned that their legislature was casting all its electoral votes for a Republican candidate because he or she won the popular vote. ” And then they go to say uproar would happen. Uh, the argument against this system does not work because in this system where all the electoral votes, would be casted for the popular vote winner, there would be no uproar!
The legislature would just say, “Well, he won the popular vote, we had no choice. ” Seriously, this argument is very weak. USA Today continues to prove why their editorial board makes no sense. This is another reasoning they try to use. “A popular vote contest involving multiple candidates could produce a winner with, say, only 35% of the vote, provoking an outcry to create a runoff process involving the top two vote-getters. And if the U. S. popular vote were so close that a nationwide recount were needed, the process could turn into a nightmare dwarfing the Florida fiasco of 2000.
Uh, do they even do their research before putting their article out to the public. With the electoral college they are desperately trying to argue for, you can win with only 21. 8% of the popular vote, over a candidate with more votes! Also, because of faithless electors, someone could become president with 0% of the vote. Imagine the uproar that would cause. Sure, that is very unlikely to happen, but so is your 35% scenario. Third party candidates rarely matter that much. Also, this is a country of 300 million people. Things like this will happen, but it is worth it.
These arguments are basically just to try to justify this undemocratic system. The electoral college should be abolished because it causes candidates to only campaign in a select few states, and it is outdated and undemocratic. It is important because it is important that the candidate that the most Americans want becomes president. It should not rest on the hands of electors, and all states should matter in this democracy. It is hard to believe it still exists. This outdated system should really go away, so congress should really be thinking about it right now.