Written by Brian Williams, Staff Writer
The Electoral College exists, but some individuals don’t think it should.
In fact, some individuals don’t know what the Electoral College is.
The official U.S. Electoral College website defines the Electoral College as a process, not a place established by the founding fathers of the United States in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens.
This means that the average person is not “qualified” to vote. They merely have an input.
It’s hard for me not to perceive this as an elitist statement of educated leaders ruling the herd of what they think are simpletons who are quieted down by taking part in a voting process.
It’s the same way an older brother would give a crying sibling a video game control that isn’t really turned on to make the sibling feel contributing and equal.
We live in a time when our country is truly divided. More than any time before people mistrust our government and politicians who represent us.
Some people are uneducated when it comes to voting for president.
With things like Wikileaks exposing corrupt and illegal acts within the government, like Hillary Clinton deleting emails, it is not farfetched to say that most of the population is uneducated about what really goes on in the government and what the candidates really have in store.
The “qualified” are apt to make important decisions but that also says this is not a democratic process.
The Electoral College process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for president and vice president and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress.
The running candidates select their electors but in some states electors are nominated in party conventions.
The electors pledge to vote for the candidate that won the state’s popular vote. An elector chooses whether to uphold this pledge. Electors have chosen to vote other than instructed 82 times in the country’s past elections. These electors are known as faithless electors. Some electors choose not to take this pledge at all and never agree to choose as the voters wish.
Thirty of the fifty states have laws that bind the electors to their pledge. Georgia is not one of these states.
An interesting thing about the Electoral College is the weight that each state’s individual vote carries.
The Electoral College has a total of 538 votes to disperse among the states.
Each state starts with three votes, one for each state’s two senators and one vote from the total 438 votes handed out by the House of Representatives.
The rest of the House of Representatives’ votes are handed out based on population.
A total of 270 electoral votes are required to become president.
Electoral votes of each state range from 3 to 55. This allows for the potential of the president-elect not being the candidate that the majority of the people chose. The president can be elected based on the decision of 11 states. These powerful states are called swing states.
Most people think of the election as one big election where in fact it is the accumulation of 50 small elections.
Some argue the Electoral College takes the power away from the people.
In California there are 55 electoral votes. If the number of votes in California were split 49 to 51 percent on their decision for president, their votes would not be represented accurately.
In a popular vote these votes would basically cancel each other out. In an Electoral College system it is quite different. California would give all of its 55 votes to one candidate, giving the candidate a huge advantage.
The Electoral College-elected president has reflected the popular vote chosen candidate throughout history except for on one occasion and that was the 2000 election where Al Gore received more popular votes than George W. Bush but lost the election due to electoral votes.
Kevin Price of CNSnews.com argues that we still need the Electoral College today.
“It is designed to make sure that all the smaller states have political influence,” Price said. “If it were pure popular vote, the voice of most of the states would not be heard. The death of the Electoral College would lead to the demise of liberty.”
I think we do not need an Electoral College today.
I believe there was a time when we needed an Electoral College and that was a time before the internet.
When there were days when information being delivered across the country was only received from a messenger on horseback, there was very much a reason and a need for the Electoral College.
Today, I believe the popular vote is all we need.
Supporters of the Electoral College claim it is necessary for the states to have a voice.
Today we live in an era where information can be found at home or at the library via computer or smart phone.
I say the voice of the people should speak louder than the voice of a state.
If we are to trust the “qualified” electoral voters who have the option to vote how they please, just let them vote and be done with the elections in those states all together.