Keep the Electoral College

Author: Erick, Patriot Fire founder (U.S.) September 18, 2008

     The November election peeks around the corner, intensifying the debate whether to reform the election process or leave it as our Founding-Fathers intended.  Critics of the current system claim the will of the majority does not always win, often citing the 2000 election as an example.  During that time, Democratic nominee Al Gore won slightly more of the popular vote than Republican George W. Bush.  The common question is, "If Gore won more votes, how did Bush become President?" 

    Most people do not understand the election process.  The design of our current practice is simple, but long and exhaustive.  People within each state submit their ballots.  These votes are called "popular votes".  A popular vote chooses a specific "elector" within each state.  In turn, this elector pledges to vote for a specific candidate.  The combined "electoral votes", based upon popular votes, decide the winner and loser of a race.  Simply put:  states decide the fate of an election.

     This does not mean the popular vote is useless, but, rather essential in order for the "electoral college" to function:  much like a brain is required to move arms and legs.  By keeping our current voting mechanism, every state, large and small, impacts the election.

     If only the popular vote was used, states with smaller populations would not equally share in the election process.  The states with the largest populations would diminish the equality of representation of smaller states.  Equality among states must be upheld, no matter how small a state may be.

     Furthermore, our democracy is a representative form of government (i.e. a republic), not a direct democracy.  Most Democrats, along with some Republicans, crave a change towards direct democracy.  Many Founding-Fathers viewed this form of government as a gradual shift to tyranny and oppression.  A simple majority of voters within a direct democracy often ignores the minority.  Speaking in terms of numbers, a Presidential candidate leading with the largest cities could win office while casting aside the remaining votes of the country.

     Our leaders and founders of the past may be gone, but their intelligence and wisdom should always remain.  We should not carelessly amend our U.S. Constitution to provide a "popular-vote-only" system.  Unintended consequences occur when such thoughtless acts are performed.  The creators of the U.S. Constitution were well aware of the abuse and neglect a government is capable of.  They also understood a common majority of citizens can also abuse and neglect when given the chance.  Reasons such as this demonstrate why a direct form of government is not favorable.  The United States of America should keep it’s electoral college and retain the representative form of democracy. 

     Although far from perfect, the current election process benefits the majority of citizens, as well as the minority, and grants every state equal representation.  This is the protection needed and envisioned by our early Founding-Fathers.