The Importance of the Electoral College to the United States
As we wade through the election this year a lot of people keep bringing up something that is very important to our country. The electoral college.
Why do we use the electoral college? Why not the popular vote? DEMOCRACY!
First, we are not a democracy. Gasp! Shock!
No, we are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic.
What is a constitutional republic you may be asking yourself.
A constitutional republic is a state where the officials are elected as representatives of the people, and must govern according to the existing constitutional law that limits the government’s power over citizens.
The United States of America is a constitutional republic, which the founding fathers did not intend to be a democracy.
Why is the electoral college important though?
The Constitution states:
Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress.
The electoral college helps prevent mob rule. The founding fathers attempted to create a federalist system that would keep policymaking in the states and the localities. (Smaller federal government, which has grown exponentially) Our presidential election system, when it’s not corrupt and rife with voter fraud, was designed to empower the states, not just the people en masse.
The total number of electors and thus electoral votes across all states and the District of Columbia—included after the passage of the 23rd Amendment—adds up to 538. The winner must receive a majority, or 270, of these votes to become president.
The system empowers states, especially smaller ones because it incentivizes presidential candidates to appeal to places that may be far away from population centers. Farmers in Iowa may have very different concerns than bankers in New York. A more federalist system of electing presidents takes that into account.
There are currently 538 electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The number 538 is the sum of the nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors given to the District of Columbia.
The Electoral College is important because it ensures the President of the United States is selected by the constitutional majority.