Why The Electoral College Won’t Be Our Saviour
Despite the fact it was, in part, put in place to save us from a despot elected by the masses, the Electoral College won’t be our savior. There are still a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters holding out hope that the Electoral College will elect Clinton, and some who think they will save us from Trump. Reality is that he chances of them electing Clinton is zero. The chances of them keeping Trump under 270 and sending it to a republican-controlled congress is not much higher. Trump won 306 Electoral College votes and Clinton’s 232. Since then one WA elector has said he won’t vote for Clinton, and one TX elector has said he will vote for Kasich instead of Trump. For Clinton to reach 270 she would need 38 republican electors to vote for her. I would be shocked if she even got one.
There is still a chance that more republican electors will vote for a republican other than Trump, but almost no chance it will be as many as 37. Even if that were to happen, republicans in congress would still likely vote him in. Republicans have demonstrated in this election that they have no morals or conscience. What is the right and just will not even be considered. What is best for the country won’t be considered. Republicans will ask themselves first, what is best for their chances to be reelected, and second, what is best for the party. Most republicans in congress are from gerrymandered districts where the only threat to their reelection would be if they were primaried by a Trump candidate.
How one candidate win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College vote
Each state has the same number of electoral votes as they have representative in Congress, thus no state has less than 3. The result of this system is that a state like Wyoming who had about 210,000 people votes, has each elector representing 70,000 votes, while in California approximately 9,700,000 voted and has 54 EC votes, each representing 179,000 votes per electorate. This creates an unfair advantage to voters in the small states whose votes actually count more than those people living in medium and large states. If the number of electors in each state were proportional to the population, and Wyoming had still 3 electors, the California would have close to 200 instead of 54.
One aspect of the electoral system that is not mandated in the constitution is that the winner takes all the votes in the state. Therefore it makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% or by 80% of the vote you receive the same number of electoral votes. This can be a recipe for one individual to win some states by large pluralities and lose others by small number of votes, and thus this is an easy scenario for one candidate winning the popular vote while another winning the electoral vote. This winner take all methods used in picking electors is decided by the states themselves. This trend took place over the course of the 19th century.
Why we have an Electoral College
The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create an extra layer between population and the selection of a President, because most of the nation’s founders were actually rather afraid of democracy. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power. Second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states and appease the slave states of the south.
How the Electoral College works
Every four years, 538 people meet in 51 locations around the United States to pick the winner of the presidential election. So who are the members of the Electoral College? A majority of electors is needed to elect a President, so 270. Members of Congress or people holding a United States office can’t be electors; The total number of Electoral College members equals the number of people in Congress and three additional electors from the District of Columbia. Each state group sends its endorsed, official vote count certificate to the Vice President. The vote certificates must be received in Washington by December 28. In 2017, the new federal Congress convenes on January 6 for the official Electoral College vote count. The Vice President will open the vote certificates and pass them to four members of Congress, who count the votes. If there is a majority winner with at least 270 electoral votes and there are no objections filed by members of Congress, the Presidential election is certified and over. If there isn’t a majority winner, the election is sent to Congress to decide. The House decides who is President; the Senate decides who is Vice President.
Who selects the Electors?
Choosing each state’s Electors is a two-part process. First, the political parties in each state choose slates of potential Electors sometime before the general election. Second, on Election Day, the voters in each state select their state’s Electors by casting their ballots for President. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party, so they are partisans.
Are there restrictions on who the Electors can vote for?
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that Electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, but there is no Constitutional provision that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states. Some states, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote in that state. Some state laws provide that so-called “faithless Electors” may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question and no Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged. Throughout our history more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged.