Nobility of the Electoral College

7 years ago

To the Editor:

The recent United States’ presidential election inspired much controversy regarding the justification of the current electoral process.

Thousands of Americans rallied against Donald Trump, the clear victor based on the Electoral College vote, because Hillary Clinton decidedly won the popular vote. The majority of Americans voted for Clinton to be our president; however, abiding by the laws laid out in the constitution by our founding fathers, she was not elected. Many Americans perceive the Electoral College to be inequitable and unfair, a viewpoint at odds with that of our founding fathers. They believe it is time for their votes to count equally, as the current electoral process is no longer morally acceptable.

Historically, people have tended to militate against laws dictated by the government that conflict with their personal beliefs and morality. Leaders impose laws for the “good of the people, state, and world,” but what if the people believe the laws to be treacherous, immoral, or insidious? In fact, the conflicting beliefs between supporters of our founding father’s electoral process and those devoted to ensuring the equality of votes present a challenging dissent in America today. Many American people are grappling with two electoral process beliefs, one regarding the popular vote as a fair and just method, and the other supporting the process that is written in law, the Electoral College.

To clearly understand, the Electoral College is a body of electors chosen to cast formal, deciding votes to determine the new President and Vice President elects. The number of electors in each state is the sum of their two senators and their representatives, as determined by the state’s population. This is unfortunate, as it affords states with higher populations, such as California and New York, an almost authoritative power over who will be the president. The majority of states are completely irrelevant in the presidential selection process. Each individual state’s popular vote determines which candidate will receive its Electoral College votes. There is no equality to each individual’s vote, and this is the moral perplexity that now faces citizens of our country. The dilemma becomes, should citizens abide by the electoral laws set forth by our founding fathers? Or should they fight for a new electoral selection process based on the popular vote, inching closer to a government truly governed by the people? Many Americans believe the founding fathers created an immoral presidential election process, as it does not count all votes of all citizens equally. In addition, these modern thinkers would also argue that the popular vote is inevitable, as it is the only way to ensure all people have an equal voice in our democracy.

Two of the last five elections have been determined by the Electoral College vote; yet, the popular vote went to the losing candidate. This phenomenon has repeated itself five times throughout history in the years: 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016. In 2012, even Donald Trump said, “the electoral college is a disaster for a democracy” upon witnessing Mitt Romney’s early, but not held, victory in popular vote and Barack Obama’s victory in the Electoral College. The United States of America is a democracy; it is a country with a government governed by the people. How, then, does the candidate with fewer votes get elected to become president?

To sum it up, an increasing number of Americans are deciding that the civil law of the Electoral College is no longer commensurate with virtue. In America, a country whose government should be governed by the people, the Electoral College is widely presumed to be unethical, as many states are virtually irrelevant in the election process. The phenomenon of Americans electing a president who did not receive the popular vote has repeated itself significantly throughout history, and it is beginning to appear fundamentally repressive.

Hannah Jacobs