There have been doubts regarding the role of the Electoral College after the controversial system allowed Donald Trump to secure the presidency despite losing the popular vote.
Interest in the phrase “delete electoral college” has skyrocketed in the days following the election — and for good reason. The system was created by the founding fathers to prevent uneducated voters from dooming the country and to maintain the status quo, but it now has become inherently undemocratic and, quite frankly, outdated.
The Electoral College may have been essential in 1776 — when the education gap reached extreme ends of the spectrum — but we currently live in the 21st century, in which the average citizen is more educated by comparison. Nationally, education has been recognized as a prerequisite for a more successful and progressive nation. As of 2015, each child must participate in an average of a little over 11 years of education. The technological revolution has only further narrowed the gap. With more efficient communication and greater access to information, citizens can now educate themselves. To put it simply, the Electoral College is outdated. There is no longer a need for an elitist group to have the final say in the general election when the education gap is no longer so wide.
The framework of the Constitution was set up to maintain the status quo, and the Electoral College is no exception. Historically, the Electoral College was employed to help more conservative states. With such states having a greater population of slaves, thus giving them greater weight in their votes since slaves still counted as people — three-fifths to be precise. Even after the emancipation of slaves, the Electoral College has continued to help the more conservative states. Of the four times the Electoral College has gone against popular vote, all four have resulted in a win for the conservative party. This is an issue because we are supposedly living in a democracy, yet the foundation of how the president is elected is undemocratic and as a result, not representative of the people.
Ultimately, we do not need the Electoral College. It shifts the weight of votes towards smaller states — meaning more heavily populated states have less power per vote — and thus, it is unable to fully and fairly represent the American public. In addition, the outdated system is no longer applicable in current times, as access to education has become more prevalent. This argument for the removal of the Electoral College has been written about countless of times, so to many, we’re beating a dead horse. But it’s a horse that needs to be beaten if we want to see progress in today’s society.
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