The Electoral College – EXPLAINED
The election of Donald Trump has once again brought the Electoral College to the fore. Why? Because the wretched masses that supported Hillary Clinton are shocked to find out that we do not live in a country that allows for mob rule AKA tyranny. The Electoral College was an ingenious means to help prevent mob rule (along with the three branches and their checks and balances) and to make our president a true representative of us ALL versus just those areas with high population concentrations. Please note: This nation is a republic. This nation has a representative government. This nation is not a pure democracy. So, with that – let’s get down to the particulars:
- When you vote – you aren’t actually casting a ballot for the candidate. Like the primary process, what you are doing is casting a vote for how Presidential Electors (representatives from your state) will cast their ballots within the Electoral College (where the president is actually elected). There are 538 electors in the Electoral College. The number of electors that are allotted to your state matches the number of representatives you have in the House plus your two senators. Example: Florida has 27 representatives in the House and 2 senators = 29 electoral votes. It should be noted that Washington DC which is not a part of any state is granted 3 electoral votes.
2. While we tend to regard the presidential election as one singular event, what is really occurring are 51 separate elections (one in each state plus Washington DC) – this is where the popular vote actually counts. This vote will determine whether Democratic or Republican electors (just garden variety people who are granted this honor by the parties) will be sent to the Electoral College to cast their ballots.
3. The Electoral College meets sometime in December to cast their votes. In order to win, a candidate must secure at least 270 electoral votes. Again, this is achieved by a candidate winning a majority of the individual states’ popular elections. So when somebody tells you, “Trump didn’t win the popular vote!” you can remind them that he actually won the popular vote in 31 of 51 contests held on November 8th (assuming current tallies hold as a couple of states have yet to declare an outright winner).
4. What if an elector doesn’t cast a vote for the person that won a state’s popular vote? This can happen – and these electors are referred to as “faithless electors”. To this point, such occurrences have not affected the results of an election.
Regardless of the eloquence of its design – you may still be embittered and you may still be insisting that the Electoral College be abolished. While this notion is reckless and foolish (because today’s mob fast becomes tomorrow’s minority) the Constitution can be amended to remove the Electoral College. First, you would need both the House and the Senate to pass an amendment to the Constitution by a two-thirds majority. Second, you would then have to have 38 out of the 50 states ratify the amendment. How many smaller states do you think would go along with seeing their power diminished and their citizens marginalized? Yeah – good luck with that.
Despite the whining and gnashing of teeth surrounding the Electoral College, it is relatively easy to see that the intent of the founders in creating such an entity was to promote fairness. No political party/candidate can solely concentrate their efforts in cities and states supportive to their cause. The Electoral College ensures that ALL states and ALL voters have a voice in the process which only makes good and proper sense as the President of the United States is supposed to represent us all – not just New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami – etc. While many blame Florida for various election woes, this cycle had much less to do with Florida and much more to do with the fact that so-called safe states belonging to the Democrats flipped. Majorities within those states determined that Trump would better address their concerns (manufacturing and jobs as a whole). Again, if it had been left to a single popular vote – the concerns of folks in those states could have been completely overlooked and ignored in favor of sure bet votes in New York and California. Due to the outcome of this election, Democrats will now have to go into states like Pennsylvania and Michigan and address the issues facing those voters in an effort to recapture those states in 2020.
The Electoral College promotes democracy within a republic – it doesn’t diminish it… and anybody that tells you differently, is a partisan idiot.