Ben Buchwalter

Electoral College Woes
November 3, 2008, 4:15 pm
Filed under: 2008 Election, General Politics | Tags: , ,

This weekend, the New York Times published the map above, which shows the size of each state proportional to the power of one vote. In the electoral college system, a state cannot have fewer than three electoral votes, regardless of how small its population. As a result, one vote in the states with very small populations (Wyoming, North Dakota etc…) is worth more than a vote in states with larger popultions (California, New York etc…).

This is just another reason that the Electoral College system is outdated and should be disbanded. As I understand it, the system exists so that the electors can correct the popular choice if they think that it was wrongly decided. As far as I know, electors almost never vote differently than the area they are responsible for. If this were ever to happen, the electors should have switched the decision in 2000 based on the fact that Al Gore won the popular vote. But alas, we are in George Bush’s America eight years later.

Also, wouldn’t it be great if candidates campaigned for votes rather than states? By visiting states like Alabama and Kentucky, Democrats might be able to persuade some voters there that they have been Democrats this whole time without even knowing it. They had just never seen one in real life to make that clear.

There are so many benefits to disbanding the Electoral College system. But the most important is the fact that without the Electoral College, we can achieve the pure democracy that we seem to be so proud of.


1 Comment so far
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Check out this article from the New Yorker (Rock, Paper, Scissors by Jill Lepore– It’s a really interesting article about public vs. private voting and mentions how the electoral college came about as a half-realized compromise as more people gained the right to vote. Anyway, I think you’ll like it. I hope you’re doing well and I’d love to hear what you’re up to.

Comment by NadiaPR

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