Running Header: How Relevant is the Electoral College todayHow Relevant is the Electoral College today(2017)Julian Baumgardner1522170003-9Ritsumeikan UniversityHow Relevant is the Electoral College today In the election of 2016, Donald Trump became our newest president. He lost the popular vote but was able to succeed in the electoral vote, putting him in office. This is not the first time the electoral college has differed from the popular vote which begs the question, what is the point of the Electoral College. What are the benefits and disadvantages of the electoral college and why is it still in place. In America most government officials are either chosen through popular vote or appointed by the president so why is the president himself appointed in a different fashion? The use of representing popular vote through officials takes power away from the people by putting the ultimate decision in the electoral college. “The advantage of the electoral college is that it promotes fairness from a regional perspective. Individual votes count, but in a way that is represented by states. This prevents 2-3 very large states from overwhelming the popular vote count so that a greater portion of the country can be represented by the government”(Vittana 2017). By giving states a similar value in voting, this makes people in those regions feel like their vote counts for more, thus bringing in more voters. The issue with that is votes from people in smaller countries actually are worth more. “The United States focuses on a two-party system because of the structure in the Electoral College. That doesn’t mean other political parties can’t get involved in the election. It just means most candidates that are elected will be either a Republican or a Democrat”(Vittana 2017). This stability in the American Government ensures that the presidency will run smoothly and relatively steady either as a Republican or a Democrat. The American government emphasizes so much on having the president elect being a democrat or republican that only one president within a different party (George W. Bush) has ever made it into office. This while unfortunate for voters who do not side with the democrats or republicans, is better for the majority who do because taxation without representation of parties you know is deemed unfair to most. With a sense of obligation to represent the thoughts and ideals of the taxpayers, the electoral college was created.These two benefits to the implementation of the electoral college are meant to ensure a candidate that shares views with the majority of the American population. It has the same power to do the exact opposite in return when the electoral vote swings toward the minority candidate. This can be necessary when deciding between president belonging to a core party versus a candidate who is not. But everytime the electoral college has gone against the popular vote has been between two candidates from core parties, which is seemingly unnecessary.The electoral college consists of 538 elected representatives. Of those 538, a president needs 270 electoral votes to become elected. According to the Huffington Post, the electoral college was made simply because they didn’t believe in putting power in the people’s hands and using democracy to choose our presidents. The United States is the sole country that holds an Electoral College system. Since the electoral college’s verdict takes priority over the popular vote, controls the electoral vote ultimately holds more power. The system we have in place now puts majority of election power with the swing states rather than big cities because that is where the electoral members are more easily swayed instead of big cities and high population states being the deciding factor. Additionally, due to  popular vote not being the deciding factor, people in states that are practically guaranteed blue or red states, there’s virtually no power in any vote you cast so many choose to not vote at all.This lack in voting has been a reoccurring event too. “Voter turnout this year dipped to nearly its lowest point in two decades.While election officials are still tabulating ballots, the 126 million votes already counted means about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year.That measure of turnout is the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out”(Wallace, 2016).This baffling lack of voters is a trend that is continuing to rise. The fact that barely over half of Americans voted is grave news. This harsh lack in turnouts show just how many citizens believe that their vote doesn’t count. In our most recent election for example, Donald Trump won his presidency without needing the popular vote. He was behind by 203,953 votes but due to the system we have in place, he still received the presidency. When asked about this he responded with saying that millions of undocumented immigrants had voted. The popular vote decides everything but the presidency in the United States. We elect governors, members of the State Legislature, and even House of Representatives. Given that the president has the most power of anyone else in The United States, it is unusual that we don’t decide who that person is. According to Quora, the president has the power to veto any bill which didn’t pass with two-thirds of the votes in both houses, he is the head of 16 different secret intelligence agencies, he can pass bills through executive orders effectively bypassing our whole system, and can even give presidential pardons or shorten sentences for anyone sentenced to a crime. This major amount of power the president wields comes with a lot of responsibility. If we don’t have a system that will elect a president who best matches the views of the majority, the system needs to change. In the article “Electoral College Reform”, they discuss what the electoral college’s purpose is, how it works, and how people are elected to be part of it. The electoral college gives relatively equal representation to each state which gives smaller states more power per person than bigger states. They also are in place to reconcile differing federal and state views. The Electoral College casts their ballots personally instead of meeting as a whole and voting. This was decided because they thought meeting as a whole to vote would make bribery much easier so they thought if they kept everyone in their own states when they voted they wouldn’t be swayed as easy. The problem with that is while candidates are on tour, they go from state to state so although bribery is slightly more out of the way, it is by no means impossible. The system is corruptible since the voting is anonymous and bribes can easily sway voters. The fact that there’s only 270 votes in total  representing over 319 million people is ridiculous. That would mean if they truly represented the people, each electoral member would have to consulted with over 1,182,000 people to accurately represent them. But since that obviously doesn’t happen, the Electoral College members are representing nothing more than their state’s general consensus and their own opinion. One reason the electoral college is important is that if it wasn’t in place, big cities would be the only focus and every non-densely populated area would be ignored. With the sheer amount of big cities being democratic, republicans would become irrelevant quick and popular vote would always go to the democratic party. That would destroy the gridlock between democrats and republicans and soon anyone who had republican views would either be shunned or irrelevant to the rest of America. Some people would enjoy that where others would like to keep the power they hold. Either way there’s no way that system will change because republicans would never give up the power they have. Giving small States more of a say in the next president sounds nice, until you consider how different each vote is worth between small and big states. In California for instance, each vote is worth almost one fourth the vote of someone in Wyoming. Approximately four Californian residents are equal to one Wyoming resident in terms of influence in the election. Giving small states not only lowers the value of big states, they also get more influence and say in who becomes our next president. I personally do not want to count as one fourth of a person when voting and I know no one else would. This system gives more power to some citizens over others based off location which seems unbalanced. Another argument for why the electoral college is needed is because they make it so candidates need to travel less. According to USAtoday, not having electoral college would put equal value on all states which would make candidates have to travel around to more places rather than rally mostly in swing states. With needing to travel to more than just swing states, presidents would need more funds which would allow those with more wealth to have a clear advantage over those who had less. That would rig the election in favor of those with money. But alternatively candidates have been able to come up with vast sums of money by reaching out to the public asking for help. In the case of Bernie Sanders’ campaign rose millions of dollars with an average contribution of $7. Examples like this demonstrate that anyone can run and travel as a candidate no matter their initial funds as long as the people at rallies and on the internet are interested enough to send money. It is inarguably harder for those that start with nothing to win but that has always been a huge factor when candidates are looking to run. Bernie Sanders raised over 43.5 million dollars by february alone. Personally I think his genuine care he displayed and the emotion he poured into his rallies and speeches is what really moved the people to join under him. The electoral college is a system that impalances the power in elected officials instead of ultimately with the people. By putting power in the hands of 538 people than the estimated 318.9 million, the decision for our commander in chief is a lot more within the influence of the candidates rather than the millions of Americans. The Electoral College should be abolished, giving the votes from our citizens the power it deserves.Works Cited:”5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Electoral College.”, 30 Aug. 2017,”Electoral College Reform.” Congressional Digest, vol. 96, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 8-32. EBSCOhost,, Leon. “Why Do We Have The Electoral College?” The Huffington Post., 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.Holliday, Dan. “How Much Power Does the President of the United States Really Have?”Quora. Web.://”How the Electoral College System Works.” Congressional Digest, vol. 96, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 2-32. EBSCOhost,, Gregory. “Voter Turnout at 20-Year Low in 2016.” CNN, Cable News Network, 30 Nov. 2016,


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