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The Electoral College Made Simple. - The facts, not the fiction.


INTRODUCTION:


Greetings. We are now well into summer, and things are heating up, and not just with the weather. With only 2 1/2 months un tl early voting starts in some places, the questions start rolling in. I do not believe in early voting. A lot can happen between September and November; you cannot take it back once your vote is cast. Call me a traditionalist, but for decades, we voted on one day, the polls closed at 8 pm, and usually, by the eleven o'clock news, we had a good idea who our next president was. Why has it become so complicated? With modern-day technology, this process should be easier.


I have received some emails regarding confusion around the Electoral College. What is it, and what is its purpose? Many wonder how an individual can win the popular vote based on our nation's citizens yet lose the election because of the Electoral College votes. If that is the case, why bother voting? Well, we must ALWAYS VOTE. The concept can get complicated to understand, so I will try to break it down into basic language. First, we must start with the basics.


THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE:

The Electoral College has been a subject of intense debate and controversy in the United States for years. Many people are unclear on how it works and why it is a crucial part of the American political system. Let's delve into the intricacies of the Electoral College, exploring its history, function, and impact on presidential elections.



The Electoral College was established by the framers of the United States Constitution during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The founding fathers designed this system as a compromise between the election of the president by Congress and the president's election by popular vote. They were concerned about the balance of power between large and small states and the potential for corruption in a direct popular vote.


Simply put, a small state like Rhode Island would not have the same clout as a large state like Texas. Thus causing an unequal balance of power.


Here is how it works. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, with each state having a certain number of electors based on its representation in Congress. To win the presidency, a candidate must secure at least 270 electoral votes.


During a presidential election, voters in each state cast their votes for a slate of electors pledged to a particular candidate. The candidate who wins the popular vote in a state typically receives all of that state's electoral votes, following a winner-takes-all system in most states. The question is, does it always work this way?


The Electoral College has a significant impact on presidential elections. It can potentially lead to a candidate winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote, as was the case in the 2000 and 2016 elections. This has sparked calls for the abolition of the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote system. Many argue that the Electoral College is undemocratic and can disenfranchise voters in non-swing states. For those of you who do not understand what a swing state is, a swing state is "a US state where the two major political parties have similar levels of support among voters, viewed as important in determining the overall result of a presidential election. " (Courtesy of Google Dictionary)


On the other hand, supporters of the Electoral College argue that it promotes federalism by giving smaller states a voice in the presidential election process. They also contend that it helps prevent the dominance of heavily populated urban areas over rural areas. Additionally, they argue that the Electoral College encourages candidates to campaign in diverse states rather than focusing solely on highly populated areas. In simple terms, every vote counts.

In simple terms, it is a state where Democratic and Republican voters are almost equal; therefore, the candidates try to win over these swing states.


UNDERSTANDING THE MATH:


The breakdown of electoral votes for each state is determined as follows:


1. Each state is guaranteed a minimum of three electoral votes, corresponding to its two senators and at least one member of the House of Representatives.


2. The remaining electoral votes are allocated based on the population of each state. The apportionment of representatives in the House is determined through a process known as the method of equal proportions, which assigns the remaining 385 seats in the House based on population size and distribution.


3. Once the House seats are allocated, each state's total number of electoral votes is finalized by adding the number of senators (always 2 per state) to the number of representatives apportioned to that state.


As we are all aware, a census is taken every ten years. The census data is used to reapportion the seats in the House of Representatives, which directly impacts the number of electoral votes each state will have in the Electoral College. Numerous challenges and controversies surround this process. Population shifts and the accuracy of the census data are two examples since this data can impact the allocation of electoral votes and raise concerns about fairness and representation in the Electoral College system.


This process is critical because the allocation of electoral votes to each state is a critical component of the Electoral College system in the United States. The process of determining the number of electoral votes for each state is based on the state's representation in Congress and the population data provided by the decennial census. Understanding how the allocation of electoral votes works is essential to comprehending the presidential election process's intricacies and the state's role in shaping the outcome.


IS IT A PERFECT SYSTEM?:


Is anything ever perfect? Electoral representatives are supposed to vote based on the will of the people in their state. However, they can vote differently. This is when the Electoral College vote can choose the next president regardless of the popular vote. Despite the allocation of electoral votes, the popular vote represents the total number of votes cast by individual citizens for each candidate. While it is common for the popular vote winner to also win the Electoral College vote, there have been several instances in history where these two metrics have diverged.


One of the most well-known examples of this discrepancy occurred in the 2000 presidential election between Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore. While Gore won the popular vote by over 500,000 votes, Bush secured the necessary electoral votes to win the presidency. This outcome led to significant controversy and raised questions about the fairness of the Electoral College system.


Another notable example of popular vote and electoral vote misalignment occurred in the 2016 presidential election between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, but Trump secured a majority of the electoral votes, leading to his victory.


Throughout history, there have been five presidential elections where the popular vote winner did not secure the necessary electoral votes to win the presidency. In addition to the examples mentioned above, this also occurred in the elections of 1824, 1876, and 1888. These instances have reignited debates about the validity and fairness of the Electoral College system, with some calling for its abolition in favor of a direct popular vote system.


IN CLOSING:


As the United States continues to grapple with the complexities of its presidential election process, the discrepancies between the popular vote and the electoral vote serve as a reminder of the intricacies and challenges inherent in the American political system. Whether these discrepancies will lead to fundamental changes in the future remains to be seen, but the debate over the relationship between the popular vote and the Electoral College will likely persist for years to come.


If you look at this objectively, you should be able to see the legitimacy of both sides of the argument. However, you should also be able to see the problems with both sides. Nothing is perfect. It never will be. We can only strive to be as close to perfect as possible. There must be checks and balances in every equation. The problem, in almost every case, stems from the question of how accurate the data is. Numerous factors affect that accuracy, and it changes from year to year. Therefore, is a census once every ten years enough? A perfect example of this is the population shifts in many states since the pandemic, the mismanagement of some states, and the hundreds of thousands of people who have left to move to other states.


My God, even the news media can't get their information accurate. When it comes to news media bias and politics, or maybe the world in general, it's every person for themselves. Therefore, we wonder why there is so much mistrust in almost every aspect of life—locally, nationally, and globally. The days of a handshake being stronger than any contract signed are long gone. Someone's word has little meaning anymore.


However, to answer the question, why even vote? That should be obvious. We must always let our representatives know our wishes. All we can hope is they honor their pledge to honor our wishes. Never forget that the Electoral College is only for presidential elections. If you are unhappy with your representatives, you can vote them out when their term ends. The power still lies in your vote.


I hope you enjoyed my post. Please subscribe to my blog, YouTube, or Vimeo Channels. Thank you. 


Please feel free to leave comments, or if you have a topic you would like me to discuss, you can email me at crondina@caesarrondinaauthor.com. Thank you.


Be safe, stay well, and focus on being happy. And remember to always:


Live with an open mind,

Live with an open heart,

Live your best life. 


Best Regards,


Caesar Rondina









 

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