The system of selecting a president based on electoral college votes is a controversial issue in modern U.S. politics. There are currently 538 electoral state intermediaries, and a candidate needs to attain at least 270 votes to win. Forty-eight states have a “winner-takes-all” policy of casting votes. Therefore, a candidate needs to acquire a popular majority in individual states. This convoluted arrangement has gained increasing media criticism following the election of Donald Trump despite losing the national popular vote. I believe that the electoral college should be abolished because it does not reflect the American standard of democracy.
The basic tenets of democracy are equality and the right to fair representation. The logical consequence is that all citizens should have equal voting power. However, every state is guaranteed two electoral votes under the current system regardless of population size. Therefore, popular votes in small states are worth more than in large states (West, 2020). There have also been situations where electors went against their state’s popular vote and rendered their constituency’s voting power moot. This structure completely contradicts the democratic ideal that the majority’s will should lead. It was originally developed by the Founding Fathers to prevent larger states from dominating the election, but it has led to the development of the opposite problem (West, 2020). This systematic overrepresentation of smaller states is especially dangerous when considering the racial and income disparities between different geographic regions.
In conclusion, the varying amounts of voting power under the electoral college contradict the American ideal of democracy and equal representation. Granting each state a minimum of electoral votes despite population size and winner-takes-all policy leads to the dangerous overrepresentation of smaller states. Electing presidents without national popular support undermines the political legitimacy of U.S. elections. The Constitution has been revised and updated before as our standards for efficient political organization and equal representation improve. Therefore, the abolishment of the electoral college is the logical next step for reform.
West, D. M. (2020). It’s time to abolish the Electoral College. Brookings Institution. Web.