The Electoral College Wrap Up

December 10, 2016

On November 9th, the day after election day, I came across a friend in my science class who disagreed with the Electoral College. He claimed it was outdated, needed to be trashed or reformed, and didn’t allow for a proper democracy. I disagreed with him. The Electoral College is something I will always stand by, no matter if my party loses or not. In the end, as of 11/16/16, Donald Trump (R), beat Hillary Clinton (D) in the Electoral College, even though Clinton won the popular vote. This was a huge upset, as multiple liberal-news media outlets predicted another landslide win for Democrats. As of right now, this marks the SEVENTH day of protests in the streets, trying to get Trump to no longer be the president-elect. This is what inspired me to make this article. Having liberal friends, and being a staunch conservative, I have encountered backlash from them about my political views. So, here is a brief explanation of the Electoral College.

The Electoral College was devised by James Wilson, in the Constitutional Convention. Although the Constitution never EXPLICITLY states the words “Electoral College” in the Constitution, the idea is there. This was a way to make sure that the country did not have a popular vote to elect the leader. Although this sounds bad, and might make you wonder why we have it in our nation, there are a few reasons why.

  1. OUR NATION IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. We are a Constitutional Republic, which means we elect people to represent us in Congress. In fact, the Framers of the Constitution thought that democracy was the worst thing for a nation. People can be too easily manipulated, might vote for a candidate based on local issues versus national issues, and could affect the next leader of the nation by voting on a whim. Every vote counts!
  2. The Framers could PREDICT THE FUTURE! Not really, but when they created the constitution, they had in mind the idea to change it, with events going on in the world. Who knows if they foresaw the rise of many cities in our nation with millions of people in them? If they did, then they are smart enough to realize that those cities could have an effect. I saw an electoral map based on county, and realized that, out of the almost 3100 counties in the US, 51 voted for Clinton. If the country could be won by only a few major cities, how will people in rural areas be represented? Everyone’s opinion matters, which is why the electoral college is vital in giving people in more rural areas a voice.
  3. The electoral college can help in close elections. Say, for instance, that Candidate 1 got 61,660,000 votes, and Candidate 2 got 61,670,000 votes. That 10,000 votes, in a democracy, could decide the election. But then you would get a bunch of three year olds in the streets throwing a tantrum, demanding a recount. Wait, that’s what’s happening now. Anyway, there would be a lot of pressure to recount, and that process could take a while. The votes could go back and forth, back and forth between the candidates. With the electoral college, the popular vote DOESN’T MATTER! That 10,000 votes could be spread out with multiple states, and you wouldn’t recount the popular vote (Except for on the state level, 2000 election).

Despite all of these positives, the Electoral College still has some drawbacks.

  1. The electors can vote for whoever they choose. Donald Trump now has 290 votes, and is ahead in michigan which will propel him to over 300 electoral votes. Clinton only has 232. Clinton’s number might go up if the electors decide to vote for the candidate they want. Sounds unfair, right? It is. These voters are called “faithless electors”, and they can affect the outcome of the election. Some states have laws against them, some don’t. The last time there was one of these was in 2004, in George W. Bush against John Kerry. If I was to reform the Electoral College, this is what I’d do. I’d make it illegal to be a faithless elector, with misdemeanor charges placed against you if you were.

So, that is the Electoral college. As I already said, I will always support the electoral college even if my party wins the popular vote but loses the election, or vice versa.

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