By Noah Johnson, Staff Writer
The electoral college was first used in the 1804 Presidential election. Since then, it has been a thorn in the sides of many Americans. Each election year millions of Americans flock to their local voting booths to choose the candidate they think will make the best U.S. President. Oftentimes, the candidate that more American people choose loses due to the “glorified technicality” that is the U.S. Electoral College. Our ancestors dealt with this in 1824, 1876, and 1888. We have seen a candidate lose the popular vote but still be elected in 2000 and, most recently, in the 2016 election.
Virtually all of our other elections are held via “majority rule.” This includes mayoral, gubernatorial, and Senate and House races. Races are held this way because it makes the most sense, and it’s the simplest.
Imagine that a professor is feeling generous one day. They decide to throw a mid-semester pizza party. They ask, “to determine what type of pizza you want, students, we will cast a vote.” But as students raise their hand to overwhelmingly vote for sausage, Mack, a student, runs to the front of the room and reminds the Professor that because he is the biggest student in the class at 6’10 inches and 300 pounds, he gets ten votes instead of just one, since he says he’ll eat the most pizza. Therefore, the majority loses and the whole class has no choice but to stomach pepperoni pizzas. This is simply illogical because Mack’s decision, regardless of his size, impacts the entire class the same.
The examples translate to the Electoral College in the same way. Mary-Anne Smith, living in the heart of San Francisco, is impacted by the presidential election just as much as Tom Jennings, an Idaho farmer.
It’s time to empower all people to take advantage of the powerful, American right to vote and to show that the United States of America values the choices of its citizens by abolishing the U.S. Electoral College.
Now we need to urge state legislators, in states with the 74 more electoral votes needed, to enact the National Popular Vote bill.
There have been hundreds of unsuccessful proposed amendments to modify or abolish the Electoral College – more than any other subject of Constitutional reform.
To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.
Instead, state legislation, The National Popular Vote bill is 73% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.
It requires enacting states with 270 electoral votes to award their electoral votes to the winner of the most national popular votes.
All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.