End The Electoral College

It’s not that there aren’t some good arguments in favor of the Electoral College. The problem is that, no matter what those good arguments are, whenever there is a mismatch between the candidate who wins the popular vote and the candidate who wins the majority of electoral votes, we are left in the awkward position of having to explain why it’s okay that the candidate who won the most votes did not win the presidency.

This is a most basic pillar of democratic elections: in a single seat race, the candidate who wins a majority of the votes wins the seat. When the people are endowed with sovereignty, that sovereignty should be offered equally to all voters. The Electoral College  violates these principles.

The Electoral College is an anachronistic institution developed in the dawn of an 18th century agrarian country, under a no-longer-applicable theory that electors would be better informed and wiser than the general populace (rather than the party loyalists chosen today), and mathematically structured to favor slave-holding states (by including 3/5th of the slave populations in the apportionment of political power to states).

Whatever else is said of Hillary Clinton’s historic but failed campaign for the presidency, she not only won the second-highest number of raw votes (the highest being the current president in 2008), but also looks on track to have won over one million votes more than her opponent. That’s over one million voters whose votes did not count as much as the oppositions’. This is no longer a stable or tenable situation for a 21st century democratic republic.

The Electoral College must be ended in favor of a direct national popular vote. This should be a plank in the platform of the only major political party of good governance, the Democratic Party.

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