By Pranay Malempati | Sports Reporter
The Electoral College gives each state a certain number of electors based on its population; in most states, all the electoral votes in the state go to the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state. This system has been in use for over 200 years.
But the Electoral College has to be changed. It causes many voters to stay home on Election Day, specifically those who live in states that have been historically dominated by one party. This system makes these voters believe that their votes will not matter since the state’s outcome is essentially guaranteed.
The issue is that often these voters are right. Every vote for a losing candidate in a state is essentially eliminated from the electoral equation.
For example, in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton received 43% of the votes in Texas, while Trump received 52% of the votes. However, Trump received all 36 electoral votes that were delegated to the state, washing away the nearly 4 million voters who voted for Clinton. This works in both directions, as the same thing happened to Trump in Virginia. He received 44% of the votes while Clinton received 49% and swept all 13 electoral votes in that state.
The Electoral College system not only keeps many potential voters at home, but also nullifies the effect of many Americans who actually make the effort to come out to the polls.
However, we cannot move to a purely popular vote. Even though that make every individual’s vote worth the same, it would also incentivize candidates to campaign solely in major population hubs such as California, Texas and New York.
What, then, would be best system? What would inspire more voters to participate, but also make sure candidates campaign across the country?
The best way to conduct our presidential election would be to move to a proportional delegate-based system. The electoral votes in each state should be divided between candidates based on the percentage of the popular vote they receive in that state.
That way, votes for a losing candidate in a certain state will still matter towards the election, especially if the state’s voting is close. Further, candidates will still have to campaign in cities and states that are not heavily populated, such as rural areas, because the electoral votes of those states will still matter.
Turning to a delegate-based electoral college will bring more voters to the polls in states that are dominated by one party and, in turn, involve more Americans in the selection of our president.
Pranay is a senior economics major from Newark, Del.