Since the ratification of the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in 1804, the electoral college has been in place as the official voting procedure to decide which presidential and vice presidential candidate will take office. While it has been in place for over two centuries, the system is convoluted and outdated in today’s political climate and should be abolished.
When American citizens cast their ballots, they do not elect the new president and vice president. Instead, they elect a slate of electors for their state that will then vote on and decide the new president. The electors are meant to align with the popular vote from the people and cast their ballots accordingly, but this is not always the case.
There have been a number of cases where the president chosen did not receive the popular vote, yet he still won the election. This makes voters feel as though their voices are not heard and that their ballots don’t matter since the decision ultimately lies with the electoral college.
Because of this, many Americans choose not to vote in presidential races because they feel as though their votes don’t count for anything. It also discourages people from certain states from voting because some states’ votes are worth more than others. Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig created a data set on the weight of each vote in every state to demonstrate the inequality between different states. For example, in Wyoming, each voter accounts for 0.00124% of an electoral vote while in Michigan a vote from a citizen is only worth 0.00031%.
More than half of American citizens are in favor of disbanding the electoral college in favor of the president and vice president being decided through popular vote. This would be a more democratic solution, allowing for the people to choose their next leader without having to rely on 538 electors speaking on their behalf.
Choosing a winner based on the popular vote would increase voter integrity and instill a sense of weight when people cast their ballots. They will know that each vote cast makes a difference and could change the outcome one way or the other. Keeping the electoral college would only further discourage future eligible voters from exercising their right to vote and by association continue to decrease the number of citizens who go to the polls for presidential elections.
Abolishing the electoral college restores freedom to the voters and puts the power back into the hands of the people. The popular vote would mean something more than just electing other people to vote in place of the nation, making each election more important and inspiring people to cast their ballot and make themselves heard.