Electoral college not good representation of a Democracy

Macy Rice

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While the electoral college has typically had the same outcome as the popular vote, there have been a few instances where the two have conflicted. Including the 2016 election, there have now been three instances in which a candidate has won the popular vote but lost the election due to the electoral college. These candidates include Samuel Tilden, Al Gore, and now Hillary Clinton.

This system was created in 1787 in order to prevent a very specific set of threats, some of which are still prevalent now. One of the main reasons the electoral college was established was to keep small states as viable participants and ensure that large states could not overrule small states. However, the system has allowed small states and swing states to take over.

Since Kansas is given six electoral votes, each vote represents 483,333 citizens. According to The Green Papers, a source for facts and figures of everything regarding the presidential election, each of Wyoming’s electoral votes represent 194,717 citizens. This means that Wyoming has almost two and a half times as much power as Kansas when it comes to electing officials. Kansas is currently at will of swing states. Since a main goal of the electoral college is to bring about equality of each state’s vote, every state should maintain an equal citizen-to-vote ratio. The problem is not the electoral college itself, it is simply the distribution of the votes that has become an issue.

While the electoral college protects the interests of minority groups, the current distribution of the electoral votes inherently discourages third party voters. The system also has a great potential of depressing voter turnout. According to the US Election Atlas, it gives citizens the feeling that their vote does not matter.

Another reason why the current set-up of the system is problematic is because it incentivizes the parties to write off states that they know they cannot lose. This means that candidates never campaign in states they are sure that they will win. If the citizen-to-vote ratio was similar for each state, candidates would be forced to visit each state and actually listen to the concerns of citizens.

While the electoral college serves a somewhat useful purpose, the negative aspects of it seem to outweigh the positives.