The Electoral College. Fix It Or Ditch It.


img_0888Below is a link to an interesting article by Charlotte England. She hits on some of the same arguments I spoke of in previous posts regarding the electoral college. I would love to see these issues litigated. One approach would be to cite the present system’s failure to protect a citizen’s vote as guaranteed by the equal protections clause of the 14th amendment. Everyone’s vote should be equally counted.

The method chosen by individual states awarding electoral votes via a system of “winner takes all” would seem to violate that clause. Voters lose their voice in the federal election if the state forces the electors to give all electoral votes to the candidate backed by the majority in the state. Maine and Nebraska have recognized the problem and rightfully addressed it by requiring their electoral votes to be split and awarded in direct ratio to the vote of the state’s citizens.

In a “winner take all” system, the state vote could be split by 2 or 2 million and it doesn’t matter. All the electoral votes are awarded to the one candidate (unless the electors break rank and do whatever the hell they want as in many cases they legally can). The individual state’s plan of how to allocate the electoral college votes was not mandated by the constitution but has been left entirely to each state. But constitutional protections always trump (god I can hardly type that word now) state law.

The other piece of that argument is this. A citizens vote presently may be diluted merely based on their location. In an increasingly mobile world, you move from a rural state such as Wyoming to a more populated area and your vote is suddenly worth less because of the uneven distribution of electoral college votes held by each state.

I do not believe our forefathers ever envisioned the system morphing into one in which a candidate can win the popular vote by 2.6 million votes (and still counting) yet lose the election. Twice in the last 16 years our citizens have chosen one candidate via popular vote only to have our flawed electoral system anoint the loser as president.
We’ve outgrown the system as it exists today. Fix it or ditch it.