Photo taken from Getty Images
The Electoral College: a necessary good
(Article II, Section 1.) Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The debate regarding the merit of the Electoral College has resurfaced as voters prepare to elect the next president. The 2016 election of Donald Trump caused a flood of chaos when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and Trump won the electoral vote, resulting in his victory.
While contentious, the Electoral College is a safeguard from the nation becoming a one-party state. Year after year, members of the Democratic Party voice their concern over the centuries-old system America uses to elect the President. Subsequently, an increasing number of Americans are in favor of the idea of abolishing the Electoral College in the lead up to the next presidential election.
However, contentious the debate over the Electoral College is, the Founding Fathers cemented the process into the constitution. When the Electoral College was enshrined in the constitution, the Founding Fathers of America saw it as being imperative to a functioning democracy. The Electoral College was devised in an attempt to keep unworthy candidates out of the White House\; moreover, it is viewed as a way for educated and wise electors to follow their state’s wishes and elect the right president.
As it stands, all state electors, save for Nevada and Maine, must assign their votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in their respective state. In Nevada and Maine, electors may vote for whomever they prefer, regardless of their state’s wishes.
On the first Tuesday of November during each election year, Americans help to decide in part who the next president will be. The world watches as each electoral vote comes in, as each candidate strives to capture 270 of the elector’s total 538 votes. Once a candidate reaches 270 they have won the election and become the president-elect.
Critics of the Electoral College often cite the example of an ill-fated Democrat in Alabama, a Republican state, or a Republican in California, a Democratic state. While it is dubious that some voters have little impact on presidential elections, it has been reaffirmed that the Electoral College increases the chances of a party, primarily one of significantly smaller numbers, winning the presidency. The Democratic Party has been particularly vocal about scrutinizing the Electoral College. The chief reason for this is simple: as of February 2020, the Democratic Party has 44,780,772 members, while the Republican Party has 32,854,496 members.
If the Electoral College were to be abolished, this would result in the Democratic Party winning every presidential election in the future. “The Electoral College needs to go, because it’s made our society less and less democratic,” states Mayor Pete Buttigieg, demonstrating the viewpoints of members of the Democratic Party. If the Electoral College were eliminated, the Democrats would have a stranglehold on the seat of power in the nation, and America would be made a de-facto one-party state.