Vote the Electoral College Out of Office


Photo By Emma Hutchinson

Information guides are sent out to all registered voters in California prior to the election to ensure that all voters are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions. The guide contains information about all candidates and propositions on the ballot this year.

Emma Hutchinson, Mirada Staff

The Electoral College is outdated, pointless, and should be abolished. 

When the Electoral College was created in the Constitution of the United States in 1787, it was the result of a divisive controversy between the Founding Fathers. 

One group felt that Congress should have nothing to do with the election of the president for the sake of preventing corruption. Another felt that rural voters (farmers) were not smart enough to make informed decisions involved in an election, passionate democratic mobs would lead the country in a radical direction, and presidents appealing directly to the people would misuse their power. 

The compromise reached was the Electoral College, in which states would appoint independent “electors” who cast the official votes for the presidency. Instead of a direct democratic vote, constituents vote for electors who then cast the actual ballots to vote for president. 

But here’s the catch: we’re not in 1787 anymore, and we’ve outgrown the Electoral College.

Simply put, the Electoral College was designed to accommodate wealthy, white landowners in eighteenth century America. But it no longer works for twenty-first century America. 

In 1787, the population of the United States was only 3.9 million people, with only 6% of the entire population being eligible to vote; voting was restricted to white property owners. Today, the population of the US is over 328 million, with over 200 million people eligible to vote, over 61% of the population. 

The conditions under which the Electoral College are so vastly different from the modern conditions of our nation, and with the change in time should come a change in the election process as well. The country is no longer worried about being conquered again by a European tyrant, and even rural and minority voters are able to educate themselves about the election, and if eligible, cast a vote for the presidency. 

The Declaration of Independence says that the government gets all of its power from the “consent of the governed”, and states that, in the case of a tyrannical or abusive government, the people have the right to alter or abolish it and lay the foundation for a new government. In the modern era, that change comes through legislation changes and governmental policy.

In order for the people to truly be able to dictate change in the uppermost portions of the government, they have to be able to directly elect all officials, including the President. The Electoral College makes it so that even candidates who are not popular amongst the majority of voters can win the seat to the nation’s highest office. 

In fact, that very thing has happened in five presidential elections since the 1824 election, when the popular vote began to be counted. Because the votes cast by each citizen do not directly go towards the candidate they vote for and rather to the elector who will vote for them, citizens lose the power promised to them in a democracy where they get to directly elect their officials. 

Especially with the modernization of elections and automatic counting machines, it is already very easy to count the popular vote, and determining a winner directly through the popular vote would not only be feasible, but it would be easy. And, it would ensure that the candidate winning the title “Commander-in-Chief” would be the one who the majority of the United States’ voting population wanted to be there. 

Getting rid of the Electoral College, an outdated, ineffective system rooted in conflict and discrimination, is long overdue, and gives the voting citizens of the United States the electoral power they were promised.