Why do we Have the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is part of the original US Constitution. This was put into the Constitution for these reasons:

  1. Communications were slow at the time the Constitution was written. Information could not travel faster than a man on horseback could ride or a ship could travel at sea. So they had to provide time and methods to count the vote and bring all of the counts to one place to decide who won the election. They wanted to remove the possibility of many recounts delaying the election of the president. So they required the recounts (if any) to be done first, and then the electors would travel to the seat of national government to meet to vote to elect the president. There was originally a period of four months provided to do this.
  2. Because communications were slow, there were very few recounts in presidential races. By the time anyone knew a recount could change the outcome of the race for president, it was already too late to hold one.
  3. The smaller states were concerned that Virginia, far more populous than any of the other states at the time, would control who became president. So they designed the electoral methods to slightly favor the smaller states. Each state gets a number of congressmen proportional to its population. But each state gets two more electors than it has congressmen. This gives the smaller states the favor they need. This is a states' rights argument.

Since then, the inauguration of the president has been moved up from March 3 to January 20 because communication and travel times have greatly improved.

Is the Concept of the Electoral College Unfair?

The concept itself is not unfair. The current implementation of it is very unfair because it has the following cheats built into it:

  1. The unfair Plurality Voting System is used in the popular vote. It unfairly favors the candidate most different from the others.
  2. Most states have an unfair winner-take-all rule for choosing electors.
  3. Most states allow an unfair straight-party voting function.
  4. The unfair Plurality Voting System is used in the electoral vote.

What If the Popular Vote and Electoral Vote Choose Different Winners?

This happens when the electoral vote compensates for the effect of the large states.

  1. The electoral vote is doing its intended job of helping small states when this happens.
  2. Now, instead of Virginia being the large state, California, New York, and Massachusetts are the large states.

Do we Need the Electoral College?

We need it for these reasons:

  1. The electoral vote is needed to help small states against the effect of the large states (see above).
  2. The electoral vote prevents an endless series of recounts that might result if the popular vote is used to determine the winner and the results are close.

    They would STILL be recounting the 2000 election for president if the popular vote had been used.

How can we Fix the Electoral College?

The following will help the electoral vote to do a better job:

  1. The Plurality Voting System must be replaced with the Independent Voting System.

    They are compared here: VS.

    More on the Independent Voting System

  2. The unfair straight-party voting function must be abolished by law.
  3. The unfair Winner-take-all system must be abolished by federal law.
  4. The Electoral Independent Voting System (scroll down) must be used for the electoral vote.

Changing how the electoral vote is taken will require a Constitutional amendment.

Abolishing the Electoral College would also require a Constitutional amendment.

What Would Happen if the Electoral Vote were Abolished?

Would Democrats Win all of the Presidential Elections?

The following would be different:

  1. If nothing else happened, the popular vote would unfairly shift results to Democrats.
  2. Winner-take-all ceases to exist.
  3. The Plurality Voting System must still be replaced with the Independent Voting System to make it fair.
  4. The unfair straight-party voting function must be abolished by law to make it fair.
  5. Republicans who don't bother to vote in the heavily Democrat states (because their votes are wasted) would start voting, changing the outcome.
  6. Most of the elections would be fraught with multiple recounts as politicians try to reclaim the lead.


Unfair and Fair Elections (menu)