Why Does the Electoral College Matter?

The Electoral College is an essential part of the United States’ democratic process. Every four years, citizens across the nation participate in an election to determine the President and Vice President of the United States. However, the outcome is not determined by the popular vote but by the Electoral College. 

The Electoral College was established in the Constitution

The founding fathers created the Electoral College in 1787 as a compromise between electing the President by Congress or having the President elected directly by the people. It was designed to balance the interests of large and small states, giving each state a say in who becomes President. 

The distribution of electors among the states is based on population. Each state is allocated a certain number of electors, equal to the number of its members in the House of Representatives plus its two senators. For example, California has 55 electoral votes because it has 53 representatives and two senators. Wyoming has three electoral votes because it has one representative and two senators.

To win the election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes 50% plus one vote.  Currently, to win the electoral college, the candidate must receive 270 eletorial votes. 

If no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives decides the president and the Senate decides the vice-president, with each state delegation casting one vote. 

The Electoral College protects against mob rule

The founding fathers had a healthy fear of mob rule. The Electoral College ensures that the presidential election outcome does not depend solely on populous regions but rather on all states being given equal weight in the election process. This prevents a large population from dominating the election results and disregarding the votes of people in smaller or less populated areas.

The Electoral College also encourages candidates to campaign for the entire nation rather than just for major population centers. Without the Electoral College, candidates would be incentivized to focus solely on regions with large populations, leaving other parts of the country without meaningful representation. 

Overall, the Electoral College ensures that all citizens have a say in the outcome of presidential elections. It ensures that the voices of small states, urban and rural areas, and citizens of all backgrounds are heard when it comes time to elect a president. It is one of the most important aspects of our democracy, and it guarantees that everyone’s voice matters.