It’s time to get rid of the Electoral College.
A vote in Chicago should count the same as a vote in Boise.
The Electoral College is an obsolete system which was designed to give extra power to slave states at a time when the country was only barely holding itself together. Maybe it made sense then, but it sure doesn’t now.
The Electoral College is not a fair system for anyone. Twice in the past two decades has the candidate who won more votes actually lost the election. Both of those times, the Democratic Party won the popular vote and lost the election.
The most prominent misconception I see regarding a transition from the Electoral College to a national popular vote is that large cities, such as New York and Chicago, will dominate Presidential politics. This simply isn’t true.
While these cities are large, they aren’t large enough to swing an entire election alone. New York City, which is by far the largest, is only about 2.4% of the population of all of the United States. It’s also important to note that if I were to account for the total number of people who actually vote, that percentage would be a lot smaller.
Some basic math reveals that the top five largest cities only make up about 5% of the total population. The top 40 cities, from New York to Atlanta, are about 13% of the total population of the United States.
Big cities alone would not be enough to swing an entire election. It mathematically isn’t possible. Aside from the fact that 13% is nowhere close to a majority, this scenario also assumes that one candidate would also win 100% of the vote in that city which simply would never happen. Oklahoma City is not politically the same as Sacramento.
The defense of the electoral college stems from a sequence of events that is unlikely and mathematically irrelevant.
The second most common misconception that I’ve heard is that the Electoral College is designed to protect the interests of small states. The Electoral College was not designed to protect small states, it was originally designed to protect slave states. The Electoral College doesn’t promote the interests of small states, but instead focuses the attention of the Presidential nominees on just a few select states.
Other than the odd fundraising trip, candidates end up spending most of their time on the trail in battleground states. Other than New Hampshire (which only has 4 electoral votes), the top of the list includes Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Other frequented states include Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia.
The Electoral College takes votes away from Americans who live in cities by chipping at and weighting their voting power. There’s absolutely no reason that living in New York should make your vote count for less, and there’s absolutely no reason that living in Cheyenne should make your vote count for more.
One vote should equal one vote. A man living in Boise should not have more voting power than a man living in Chicago. A woman living in Los Angeles should not have less voting power than a woman living in Montgomery.