The Electoral College is dumb, time for something better

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

Why do we have swing states? Why do the votes in Pennsylvania and Florida and Ohio matter more than the votes cast in Hawaii or here in Texas? It’s time we got rid of the system that make this possible.

Right now, there are about 30.6 million voting age people in California and 445,000 in Wyoming. That’s a ratio of 68:1.

California gets 55 electoral votes. Wyoming gets three. That’s a ratio of about 18:1, meaning a voter in Wyoming has 3.78 times as much weight in deciding the next president of the United States as a voter in California.

The states’ votes are based on congressional representation — one for each representative, plus each state gets two electors from the senate. Though it’s not a state and doesn’t have senators, the District of Columbia also gets a total of three electoral votes. The founders put the electoral college in place to protect the government from uneducated voters 233 years ago, but this country is coming off it’s highest voter participation in history, so maybe it’s time to trust the electorate a little bit more.

This isn’t a partisan issue either. Votes in Texas are worth less than they should be. Votes in Vermont and Hawaii and Washington D.C. count more than they should. The real issue is the 2000 and 2016 elections each picked the candidate who received fewer votes.

How can we claim to be a democracy if everyone’s votes don’t count the same?

According to NPR, a candidate could win the presidency (theoretically) with just 23% of the popular vote. How can we hold onto a system that goes against the ideals we were built upon?

The issue is candidates mostly campaign in “swing states,” the states which are most likely to decide the election based on polling data. Why do their votes matter more than anyone else’s?

By only campaigning in the most polarized areas, candidates don’t show the rest of America what they are truly like. They’ll see a few campaign ads here or there, but rarely will a bus roll into town with someone’s face plastered across it.

Abolishing the electoral college wouldn’t benefit any state over another. In fact, states wouldn’t matter for the presidency. People would. American citizens are the bedrock of this nation. The Constitution doesn’t say “We the States;” it says “We the People.”

Everyone would have an exactly equal say. A Republicans who votes in California would have the same weight as a Democrat in Wyoming. We should be choosing the right winner, not the one electors choose.