Why the US Should Keep the Electoral College

By Sam Foley

The 2020 US presidential election has just concluded, with Joe Biden winning the presidency. The election and voting process begs the question, should we abolish the Electoral College? The Electoral College is the main component of the voting system in America and has been for over 250 years. Many people think that the Electoral College is an outdated system that doesn’t work in the present day, but this article will explain exactly why we need the Electoral College, and why getting rid of it would destroy the country, economically and politically.

So what is the Electoral College? The Electoral College is made up of representatives of each state, with bigger states having more electoral votes. Each state has their voting, and the winner of that state casts their electoral votes for the winning candidate. In total, there are 538 votes, and a candidate needs 270 to win.

The first reason that we should not get rid of the Electoral College is that it allows lower density population areas to have a say in the election. In the 2016 election, a total of 128 million people voted. If the election was a true popular vote, then a candidate would have no reason to go to any place with a low population density. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, if a candidate gets votes from just 3 states: California, New York, and Texas, they could win the election with 65 million votes. In the Electoral College, they wouldn’t even be halfway to winning the election. This example shows the problem with a true popular vote. In the current election system, candidates visit tons of states, trying to gather support from people all around the country, who have different jobs, political views, and backgrounds. This is because every vote matters in the Electoral College. 

With an Electoral College, there is a reason to visit areas with lower population density, like the midwest. Without an Electoral College, they can completely ignore the needs of the rest of the entire country to focus on 3 or 4 large states. The densely populated coastlines of the country, with mainly left-wing political views, would dominate every election, with the rest of the country having no chance to match the numbers of these dense urban areas. When the president ignores all of the low population density states, and instead favors the cities in terms of policies and taxes, there could be a secession of states who have no say in the political system. The last secession caused a civil war which led to 700,000 deaths. Even if there was no secession, the tens of millions of people in rural areas would be discriminated against in the political system, and without any representation could have higher taxes, forcing them into poverty. The only way to stop this exploitation is with the Electoral College, which makes sure that every state has a say in the election, and the needs of every state are met.

The second reason that we should keep the Electoral College is the political damage it would cause to the nation. Not only would it cause political turmoil between the left and right, but it would damage the checks and balances between the federal and state governments, and ruin the stable process for choosing presidents. This process has been working for over 200 years and has not been drastically changed, unlike most political systems of other countries. Many people criticize the Electoral College for being an outdated system that was made to preserve slavery and such, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Electoral College is the only reason slavery was abolished. Abraham Lincoln only got 39% of the popular vote but was able to secure the presidency because of the Electoral College. So, not only has the Electoral College been working, it is the main reason that slavery was abolished. When we get rid of an Electoral College, it takes away all of the power from the states. When the states have no power, there isn’t a reason for the senate, which is made only to represent the states. When you get rid of the Electoral College, you get rid of any power that states have, since states have no say or check on the president.

Abolishing the Electoral College wouldn’t lead to a “better democracy”, and more power for the people. It would lead to a federal government with no checks to their power and presidents that ignore the needs of most of the country. Instead, we should stick with the system that has lead to over 200 years of successful elections, abolished slavery, and was made by the founding fathers of the country with all states’ needs in mind.

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