Why The Electoral College Is Still Important
Start writing a post

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.
Lum3n

Women are known to lug around heavy purses with unnecessary items inside. How many of these useful items do you keep in your own bag? We need to be prepared with a list of things to have with us whenever we leave the house again.

Keep Reading... Show less
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/dec/13/harry-styles-fine-line-review-columbia

I personally love using song lyrics as my Instagram captions, especially from songs that I love or that mean a lot to me, and I happen to love Harry Styles and all of his songs! So I made a list of lyrics from each of his songs that you could use in your next Instagram caption.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone's been here. And, truthfully, it sucks. But in order to move on and get past something you need to allow yourself to feel it for what it is--all of the heartbreak and pain--and then you can start to take steps move on.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

11 Christmas Movies You'll Remember If You Were A 2000s Kid

Because I'm still reminiscing about simpler times.

17939

The Christmas season is coming to an end, but it's not too late to get some last-minute movies in! Unfortunately, this year didn't look like a typical Christmas. While we can't have any big Christmas parties or family gatherings, we can still celebrate at home! Christmas is the best time for nostalgia, and we could all use some warm and fuzzy feelings as we wrap up a tough year and enter a new one that hasn't been proven any calmer, either.

As a kid who grew up in the 2000s, I can think of some of my favorite staple Christmas movies. If you're looking for recommendations or just a walk down memory lane, check out the list below.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

9 Reasons 'The Wilds' Should Be Your Next Binge Watch

The Wilds is the Best New Show on Amazon Prime

12556
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/amazon-s-wilds-much-more-just-gender-swapped-lord-flies-ncna1250078

As we enter the new year, you might be looking for a great show to kick-off 2021. Look no further, I have the perfect recommendation. "The Wilds" was released on Amazon Prime last month and has been gaining traction steadily since then. This series of 10 one-hour episodes tells the stories of eight girls who find themselves on a deserted island after their plane crashed while they are on their way to a resort. Unlike other survival shows, there's a bit more to the story than what first meets the eye. This show is unique in characters, storytelling methods, and plot.

If you aren't convinced yet, allow me to provide you with a list of further persuasion.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Therapeutic Ways To Be Adventurous During The Pandemic

Add some music to reduce the COVID-anxiety a bit and perceive your surroundings as the elaborate setting of a land far, far away from home

3995

Even if we are not traveling abroad at the moment, we can still travel locally while maintaining social distancing and preventative guidelines. Sometimes, the little things in life seem the most fascinating and joyous to us compared to the flamboyant luxuries that we perhaps have a wishful desire for.

So, as a potential remedy for our travel necessity, I have listed 5 alternative ways in which you can relish your traveling desires during this pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Things TikTok Made Me Buy, And Now My Life Is So Much Better

Where would I be without my Revlon hair dryer or CeraVe skin products?! Thanks, TikTok.

7163
CeraVe/Instagram

TikTok is a great way to see what products are trending. People are sharing tips and tricks about items that they use to make their life happier, healthier, or just easier.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments