Why The Electoral College Is Still Important

The 2016 presidential election results set a new precedent in the United States history.

Across the nation last Tuesday, the voters casted their ballots and the Republican candidate Donald Trump, a businessman and billionaire real estate developer, was elected the 45th President of the United States and defeated Democrat candidate Hilary Rodham Clinton. The 2016 presidential election results left the nation stunned because Donald J. Trump is the first President-elect to not have a military or political-based background. Additionally, state polling prior to the election favored Hilary Clinton winning the solid democratic states, lean democratic states, and the majority of the battleground state. However, the election results are receiving national controversy, both foreign and domestic, because Donald Trump won the electoral college with 306 votes while Hilary Rodham Clinton won the popular vote by 52%. Throughout the country, American people are protesting the election results, which is similar to the 2000 presidential election. These nationwide protests are vocalizing the American people's frustration with the electoral college system. So, why does the United States still continue to use the Electoral College and why is it important?"

What is the Electoral College?

Instead of establishing a presidential election system through direct democracy, the founding fathers established the Electoral College to ensure the entire nation had more equal opportunities choosing a national president. During a time when the thirteen states were more autonomous and the federal government didn't have as much power as it does today, the founding fathers wanted to offset the chance that a single populous state would put forth a "favorite" candidate that would exclusively represent their home state and disregard the needs of the whole country. Basically, the Electoral College ensures

How many members of the Electoral College are there?

Today, there are 538 electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The number 538 is the sum of the nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors given to the District of Columbia. For example, the state of California has the largest amount of electors because it has the most Congressmen: 53 Congressmen+ 2 Senators = 55 Electors. The District of Columbia was granted three electors by the 23rd Amendment, the minimum number. Each party candidate on the presidential ballot puts forth a slate of electors who are generally chosen at the party's state convention.

How does the Electoral College work?

All but two states traditionally award the entire slate of electors to the candidate that receives a majority of votes. The two states that do not follow the traditional model are Maine and Nebraska who award two electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote and receive another vote for each congressional district they win.

What happens if no one gets a majority of Electoral College votes?

If neither of the political candidates receive the majority of the Electoral College votes, then the election is sent before a vote to the U.S. House of Representatives. Each state will make a decisive vote for one of the presidential candidates and the majority vote will be elected President of the United States. The Vice-President process is similar except the U.S. Senate selects the Vice-President of the United States regardless of party affiliation.

What if there's a tie?

Since the number of electors is 538 (which is an even number), there could be a hypothetical tie within a presidential election race. In this case, the U.S. House of Representatives would be selected to choose the President of the United States. This has only happened twice in the nation's history. when there was a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr in 1800 and a four-way split in 1824 between William H. Crawford of Georgia, Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts.

Can you loose the popular vote and still be elected president?

Yes, the electoral college system can allow a presidential candidate to loose the popular, but still be elected as President of the United States. In the 200 presidential election, the Republican candidate George W. Bush won the Electoral College vote with 271 votes while the Democratic candidate Al Gore won the popular vote by 51%.

Why is the Electoral College important?

The Electoral College is important because it ensures the President of the United States is selected by the constitutional majority. Basically, the Electoral College magnifies the margin of victory and grants legitimacy to the winners. Let's put this into perspective. Hypothetically, Hilary Clinton's popular vote can increase or decreased from state to state, but it won't change her electoral votes. Other political systems implement the highest-vote automatically wins; however, this indirect selection process has been subject to criticism and has been recently reformed. Charles Kesler explains that the Electoral College combines democracy with federalism:

"[T]he issue is democracy with federalism (the Electoral College) versus democracy without federalism (a national popular vote). Either is democratic. Only the Electoral College preserves federalism, moderates ideological differences, and promotes national consensus in our choice of a chief executive."
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Listen, you can do whatever you want with your free time. It's yours to spend and you have free range. However, I hope you recognize that there are a ton of proactive things you can do right now instead of stalking your man's ex – yes, I know you do it becuase we are all guilty of it.

Take this time to research your privilege. There are always new things to learn and ways to deepen your understanding of yourself, this world, and your surroundings. We live in a multi-dimensional, ever-changing society that needs your help and your time. By that, I mean there are so many layers to each and every one of us, and with our physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional selves, we can create real, positive change.

Keep Reading... Show less

Preview These Top Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Picks — From Luxury Purses To Skincare

Currently 3 million people viewing the Stella McCartney purse I absolutely must have.

Online shopping has been a guilty pleasure of ours for years, but now more than ever it's been a shopping lover's outlet for all our home redecorating projects and resort wear we're purchasing for that trip we had to cancel.

One of my favorite places to (virtually) window shop has always been Nordstrom. I admittedly can't afford to go on sprees there often, but I still get a high off of adding things to my cart I know I'll never actually end up buying. But sometimes, that's not enough — that's when I, like the masses of luxury-, beauty-, fashion-, and decor-lovers around the world count the days down to the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Keep Reading... Show less

I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.

I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you are quarantining away from your significant other because of coronavirus or separated by the country lines at this time, it's fair to say that long-distance relationships are tough no matter what. However, there are ways to show love from a distance whether that's through daily FaceTime calls, cute Snapchats, or sexy pics sent to them on their phone. You can brighten up their day even more with some of these unique gifts that can fit any price range and a variety of interests.

Keep Reading... Show less

Rihanna is known for many things: her music, fashion, makeup, and now skincare. As a makeup artist myself, I can confidently say that she rocked the makeup world when she released her makeup line in 2017 and has been influencing the beauty world ever since.

Trying some of her makeup products myself, I know that she doesn't skimp on quality, and even though some of her products may be a little pricey, trust me, you get what you pay for.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, no one needs to be reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the U.S. Frankly, this is because we have all collectively decided not to do the one simple thing that was asked of us and wear a mask.

I could make this a very boring article, and berate you with facts and statistics and the importance of wearing a mask, but I have opted against that for both of our sakes. Instead, I will attempt to reach you in another way. You might not care about a disapproving look from me, but from Nick Miller? Maybe that will be enough to change your mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments