Should we keep the Electoral College?

by Samantha Joson 702 views0

By Sam Joson

After Donald Trump’s seemingly unexpected victory this past presidential election, many have brought up some harsh criticisms of the Electoral College.

To summarize, every state has a certain number of Electoral College votes, which equals the number of House representatives plus the number of Senators the state has. The presidential candidate who wins in a certain state’s election gets 100 percent of that state’s electoral votes (with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which award electoral votes by congressional district). To win the presidency, a candidate must secure 270 electoral votes.

Donald Trump won the presidency by successfully securing the 270 electoral votes, although he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 2.9 million votes. A similar event happened in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the presidency with 255 electoral votes to George W. Bush’s 271 electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, or, the Compact for short, seeks to abolish the Electoral College via state legislature. States in the Compact would award their electoral votes to whoever wins the most votes nationwide — essentially, turning the presidential election into a popular vote. The Compact would take effect as soon as enough states equaling 270 electoral votes, the amount needed to win the presidency, join in. Ten states including California plus the  District of Columbia have already joined, totalling 165 electoral votes.

Every state to join the Compact so far is a blue state, and red states seem to be unwilling to join. After all, both Trump and Bush’s victories prove they don’t need to.

The remaining 105 votes the compact needs is proving to be far more difficult to achieve.

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