Opinion: Eliminating the Electoral College
The highly debated Electoral College has been around since 1787. During this time, slavery was legal, women couldn’t vote and muskets or flintlock pistols were the “deadly assault rifles” Second Amendment enthusiasts often forget about. It may have been a while since you took a history class and need a refresher on what the Electoral College is, so Ted-Ed does the best five-minute video lesson anyone can benefit from even if you feel you’re fully educated on The Electoral College. Here are the bulletpoints:
- In The Constitution Article ll, Section l, Clause ll, it explains Electors.
- The official United States Census began in 1790. In short, 3.9m people in the U.S., with almost 700k slaves and 1.5 million women. Just remember, slaves could not vote until 1870 and women until 1920. That left 1.7 million men to vote, is that half? Hardly.
- Since 1964 there are 538 Electors. What are Electors? Electors are how many electoral votes each state is entitled to have based on total voting membership from the U.S. Congress. 538 = 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and three electors from the District of Columbia.
- Each state’s number of electoral votes is re-evaluated every 10 years based on the census report conducted. So yes, some states will lose a few and gain a few, but nothing of magnitude.
- The Constitution says nothing about how states should allocate the electoral college. Yes, go back and read it: NOTHING IS MENTIONED. Let’s not start about what else it says…liberal or conservative.
Let’s move forward on why this dated and unfair process does not work for the United States. Beyond it being a part of history, much like slavery, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and separation of church and state, some rules are meant to be changed. How unfortunate is it that there are states known as “Safe States” where it doesn’t matter if you vote for your candidate because its a known blue or red state. If you don’t know what a “Safe State” is or what a “Blue” or “Red” state is, watch the video above. Personally living in California we are a Blue State which I have no problem with, *but* what about others who want their voice heard for their candidate? Well, that is where the Popular Vote comes in. The Popular Vote is exactly what it sounds like: the most popular candidate WINS, just like in 1787 when The Founders created voting for no political party but for the best candidate. Today, regardless of the best candidate, your Electoral College decides who wins.
Five times in history, presidential candidates have won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College. Okay – I’m going to break this down simply. Did you vote for someone to win Prom Queen and they lost because a committee elected her? No, the popular vote elected her. Still not convinced? Fine, how many times in Physical Education were you up for a team of Dodgeball, Steal the Bacon, or Red Rover and an electoral college picked you? Not never. Picking candidates based on “popularity” or beliefs is the way our country should operate. It’s the way the world has operated since we were young. We have made so many strides in the right direction for fair and just action, why not abolish the dated and unfair Electoral College? Maybe you’re a fan of Miss America or Shark Tank where you leave it up to a panel but that doesn’t work in a democracy.
Before the hate begins, I am for unifying the country. I am socially liberal but fiscally centrist, and yes that is a thing. That is the beauty of our country, you can be whatever you want to be. I am proud to be a child of an immigrant from Germany and a mother who’s Hispanic. My parents have raised me to see what the “American Dream” of hard work and strong beliefs can do. All I ask of you is, ask yourself why do you support The Electoral College? This isn’t a party issue at all. At the end of the day, we should support who we believe will do the best job, party-affiliated or not.