Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Electoral College: Why it's OK, but Needs Improvement

As we all know the Electoral College takes a lot of flak because it's "unfair" or "doesn't accurately represent America".  There is the slogan "One Person, One Vote" to try and persuade people to believing popular vote is the fairest option.  Unfortunately, neither the Electoral College, NOR popular vote are the fairest options.
The Electoral College allows equal representation based on population.  That means, if 50% of California votes, and it goes to the Democratic candidate, and 30% of Ohio votes, but it goes to the Republican candidate... 50% of Californian voters did not vote, whereas 70% of Ohioan voters did not vote.  The Electoral Votes are still distributed based on 100% of the population.  Regardless of how many people vote, all 100% of the voters are counted.  That's what makes the Electoral College an acceptable plan.

However, of the 50% of Californian voters that voted... one could say that 25% of those citizens (mostly in the northern area, Jefferson State, or the south East area outside of Los Angeles) may have voted Republican.  Their votes are essentially uncounted, and serve no purpose.  THIS is the main problem with the Electoral College; the representation of the United States is not proportional.

If the vote in Ohio were 50% one way, 50% the other way, and the Electoral College vote was split 50/50, then 9 votes would go to either candidate.  There are TWO benefits to this: the representation would be proportional based on population, AND would allow third-party candidates to stand a chance in the national general election.  This would cure the woes of all issues raised.

Now, what do we do about this?  We need to spread the word about a proportionally-selected Electoral College, and why it is the best possible option.  It would prevent popular vote rule (which, in the case of a national disaster or inclement weather, does not affect the representation of 100% of the people) and would prevent a landslide of the GOP/Democratic Party in every election.

You may be a fan of the popular vote, or a fan of the electoral college.  I may not be able to change your opinion, but I hope I have raised a good point.