I’ve had it with the Electoral College

In the American presidential election I am one vote among tens of millions. But it doesn’t seem that small. It seems a lot smaller. It seems meaningless. The reason for this is the Electoral College.

American presidents are not elected by people, they’re elected by states. And today, December 20th, the states cast their electoral votes. All of the state’s electors go to the winning candidate in the state. I have influence over who wins in California but no influence over who wins the presidency.

Donald Trump lost the election by almost 3 million votes, and he's going to be the next president.

Donald Trump lost the election by almost 3 million votes, and he’s going to be the next president.

Unless you live in a swing state your vote is wasted. You may as well write in Calvin Coolidge. And if you live in a large urban state your vote counts less than it does in a small rural state.

In Wyoming each elector represents 143,000 people. In California each elector represents 500,00 people. In the 2016 election Donald Trump lost by almost 3 million votes. And he still is going to be the next president.

With the Electoral College, the presidential election is a stacked deck in a game of cards. The arcane system of choosing presidents through state electors was a compromise reached in the late 18th century that had little to do with reflecting the will of the people.

It had a lot to do with protecting the interests of former colonies that were jealous of their power. It had a lot to do with protecting the interests of slave holders, who managed to get people they considered their property to be counted as three-fifths of a person in the U.S. House and in the Electoral College.

The argument for getting rid of the Electoral College is as simple as the principal of one man one vote. My vote for president in California should have exactly the same value it has in Wyoming or South Dakota. It should be exactly as important as a vote in a swing state because they are no better citizens.

We need to have a popular vote for president. It’s long past time. The Electoral College is undemocratic. It devalues the office of the president, and it has to be gotten rid of as soon as possible.

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