By Mia Gomes
Among the most controversial arguments in contemporary politics is whether or not the electoral college should be abolished. While many people believe that the electoral college should stay in effect because the Founding Fathers chose it as the best method to choose the president, but there are many ways to debunk this. The electoral college is problematic and outdated because it gives too much power to “swing states” and it goes against the popular vote of the people. Truly, the electoral college amounts to nothing more than the textbook definition of voter suppression.
The electoral college is a body of people representing the United States during a presidential election. States are given electoral votes based on their individual populations. The more populated your state is, the more votes you have. Additionally, the majority of voters in that state who have chosen one presidential candidate over the other represents the vast majority, if not the entirety of that state. A presidential candidate needs to obtain 270 electoral votes in order to override the popular vote of the American people during the election season.
According to procon.org, an argument that supporters of the electoral college often make is that “The Founding Fathers enshrined the Electoral College in the US Constitution because they thought it was the best method to choose the president.” However, this argument is severely outdated. When the electoral college was established in 1787, the population of the United States was 3.9 million people, and women along with people of color were not allowed to vote. There were far fewer people in our country than there are now, meaning that the electoral college had to have been much more accurate when the population was so much lower.
The people who believe that the electoral college should be abolished often bring up the argument that this method suppresses voters by not counting the minority votes as opposed to the majority. For example, if the majority of voters in a state vote for the democratic candidate in an election, the votes in that state for the republican candidate would not be counted in deciding the president. This could go both ways, but either way, it is suppressing voters who don’t vote for the popular candidate in their state, creating a corrupt and inaccurate method of electing a candidate for office.
Additionally, the electoral college gives far too much power to “swing states”, defined by globalnews.ca as “key battleground states where it is not immediately clear who the winner will be.” In the 2020 election, the key swing states are North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Ohio. These states will ultimately decide the election results alone, giving all of their electoral votes to one candidate or the other. This is unfair to the American people because the votes for the less popular candidates in these states will not be counted, although they could have the power to change the election results to be more accurate.
At the end of the day, the electoral college doesn’t even always give accurate results. In the 2016 election, the electoral college decided that Donald Trump won the election, when in reality he did not win the popular vote. This is simply unfair because the president was not chosen with the best interest of the people in mind, nor was it what they truly wanted.
Overall, the electoral college should be abolished because the only votes of the actual American people that are counted are whoever votes for the majority in their state. The electoral college was created for the few early Americans who didn’t care for the minority or the oppressed. In 2020, counting every vote that is cast instead of just the state majorities is more important than ever.