Archaic US electoral college

By March 23, 2017US Politics

The Electoral College is the mechanism established by the constitution for the election of the President and Vice President. Citizens entitled and registered to vote are allowed to vote in one state to choose a group of electors, which are pledged to vote for a Presidential candidate. The number of electors is equal to the number of senators plus the number of representatives in congress for that state. When the votes in a particular state are counted, that determines for whom the electors vote. In some states (Maine and Nebraska) that is proportional, so if 50% vote for one candidate, and 50% vote for the other candidate, then 50% of the electors vote for one candidate and 50% for the other. However, in all the other states, the person with the most votes in a particular state takes all of the electors. So, if the voters of Texas, with 38 electors, vote 51% for Candidate A and 49% for Candidate B, then Candidate A gets the pledges of all 38 electors. That is how, in the most recent election, Clinton won the popular vote 65,844,610 (51.1%) to Trump’s 62,979,636 (48.9%), compiling only the votes for the two major candidates. This was a difference in favour of Clinton by 2,864,974 votes (2.2%). However, within the electoral college, Clinton lost by 227 (42.75%) votes to 304 (57.25%), again compiling only the votes for the two major candidates. That was a difference in favour of Trump of 14.5%. That is a turnaround of 16.7%. That is not democratic.

The electoral college system was developed at a time when communication was, at best, by horse, and transport by horse and cart. It is now the 21st century, and you’d think a modern nation state could institute a voting system that was at least democratic to the extent that the candidate with the most votes would win the election. That is what needs to happen, and the only way to do that, is to get rid of that hangover from the early 1800s, the archaic Electoral College.



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