Every time I thought about the Founding Fathers throughout my life I always came to the same conclusion. These men were absolutely brilliant and their ability to understand human nature and predict the future was phenomenal! The Electoral College is just one example of that.
The Electoral College was included in the Constitution to solve a significant set of problems that existed at the time, but when you consider the demographics of America today the Electoral College is still a critical part of our election process.
When the Constitution was written America had thirteen fiercely independent states, spread out over a thousand miles of the eastern sea coast, with a total population of about four million people. When you consider the fact that no formal established means of communication existed between the states, developing a method for holding fair and equitable national elections was a daunting task. That is why the Electoral College became part of our original Constitution. Without it certain key states would have carried such a majority of the votes that other states would not have had a voice in national elections, national affairs, or international affairs, and the United States of America would not have HAPPENED!
The following explanation of the Electoral College process is posted on the US Government Archives:
The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution in 1787 as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.
The selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors, where they vote for the President and Vice President and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress are all part of the process.
Today the Electoral College has 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.
Under the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution, the District of Columbia is allocated 3 electors and treated like a state for purposes of the Electoral College. For this reason the word “state” also refers to the District of Columbia.
Each candidate running for President in your state has his or her own group of electors. The electors are generally chosen by the candidate’s political party, but state laws vary on how the electors are elected and what their responsibilities are.
Any changes to the Electoral College process require a Constitutional Amendment, which is NOT going to happen!
Today the lack of a formal established means of communication that the Founding Fathers faced has obviously been solved, but the demographics of America still justify the Electoral College process for choosing our President. Here are a few examples of why that is true:
- California has approximately 12% of the total U.S. population.
- Approximately 40% of the total U.S. population lives on the west coast and the central/north east coast.
- Six of the states that issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants are on the west and central/north east coast, which adds to the potential voter rolls in those states.
These three statistics alone make it clear that without the Electoral College all our national elections would be decided by the states on the west and central/north east coast. Which means all national elections, and consequently national and international affairs would be decided by these states.
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