Electoral College: 18th Century Safety Net, 21st Century Problem

Art+by+Nikki+Iyer

Art by Nikki Iyer

Kate Meyers, News Editor

The electoral college has chosen presidents who lost the popular vote in the 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 elections. This outdated system is not only neglecting the idea of the rule of the majority, but corrupting the idea of democracy. Deciding who is best fit to lead the American people clearly should be in the hands of all the American people, not a few electors who can disregard votes if they disagree with them.

Originally, the electoral college was created because it was believed that the average 18th century voter was too uneducated to make a sound decision about who should be president. Rather than having every person vote and potentially create a “democratic mob,” the founding fathers made the decision to have delegates from each state choose for them.

However, in modern America, people are not worried about spreading information by horse-drawn carriage and being uneducated about their decisions. Today, lack of education isn’t a large problem because people have much greater access to information. Computers, television, and newspapers all make information about each candidate available to the public so they can make an informed decision about who to vote for based on what they believe.

In the matter of electing a leader of the free world, it is absolutely immoral and contradictory to American freedoms if the system allows candidates to play a numbers game of electoral points, rather than catering to the nation’s needs.”

Essentially, the electoral college in the modern age is an ancient protective mechanism that is useless.
Protests and public speaking events such as The Women’s March, March for our Lives, and Black Lives Matter all encourage people to use their voices to express their beliefs. A central idea of these movements is the marginalization of minorities and the everlasting fight against suppression.

In a country where all citizens having equal power is preached and advocated for, we cannot allow the electoral college to continue its existence as it is contradictory to these notions.
Unfortunately, votes don’t count the way people often believe they do. This is a direct attack on democracy, and the ideals that the United States was founded on.

For example, votes in Wyoming are worth 3.6 times as much as votes in California. This can serve as a deterrent to voting, as people often believe their vote doesn’t matter. And, in a way, the electoral college proves them right.

The reason the electoral college still exists is to ensure that candidates don’t just focus their energy on cities with large populations, neglecting areas with less people. However, having an electoral college creates a similar issue where candidates battle over the support of “swing states” such as Florida, which tends to waver between democratic and republican parties, and states with low populations such as Wyoming. It’s incomprehensible that some states’ opinions are devalued by lack of people in other states as it blatantly undermines democracy.

Candidates hovering around less populated states, especially in the Midwest, is caused by another aspect of the electoral college that is unfair to the American people. Each state is given a minimum of three votes, despite how small their population is. This causes smaller states such as Rhode Island to “take” electoral votes from larger states.

America’s ideals were founded on the concept that everyone’s votes are equally important, in order to have the election of a leader be fair.
In the matter of electing a leader of the free world, it is absolutely immoral and contradictory to American freedoms if the system allows candidates to play a numbers game of electoral points, rather than catering to the nation’s needs.

In order to have democracy, the electoral college needs to be abolished.