Do We Still Need the Electoral College?

Even in 2016, we still base the winner of the Presidential election on the results of the Electoral College votes. Is it time to do away with the Electoral College and let the popular vote determine who becomes our President?

I actually starting writing this blog last weekend…before the election. I had no idea how the election would turn out, but it’s interesting that once again the popular vote (at least with 99% of the precincts reporting) had a different outcome than the Electoral College vote. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with 59,814,018 compared to Donald Trump’s 59,611,678 votes, but Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes compared to Clinton’s 232 electoral votes.

On five occasions the Electoral College system has resulted in the election of a candidate who did NOT receive the most popular votes in the election. The elections of 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 produced an Electoral College winner who did not receive the nationwide popular vote. In 1824, there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed, rather than popularly elected, so the true national popular vote is uncertain.

If you remember, we had a similar situation in 2000 when George W. Bush won the Presidential Election with 271 Electoral Votes over Al Gore’s 266, but when it came to the popular vote, Al Gore had 50,999,897 votes to George W.’s 50,456,002.

In the last two situations when the popular vote and the Electoral College vote did not match, the Republican candidate came out the winner. (That being said, I wonder if Democrats would rally to get rid of the Electoral College, while Republicans desire to keep it.)

It does make you wonder how things might have been different if Al Gore had been given the victory due to the popular vote in 2000 over George W. Bush.

Way back when the Electoral College system was set up, it was tough to get an actual count of all voters and it was probably the best way to do things. In today’s modern world, it’s not that difficult to get an actual count of how the general public voted.

Many people sometimes feel that their vote doesn’t have much weight when the outcome is based on the Electoral College results.

So, do you think it’s time to get rid of the Electoral College and base our elections on popular vote? Take part in the poll below.


Should we do away with the Electoral College?

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To read more on the history of the Electoral College, here is the Wikipedia webpage.

Please leave any comments you may have about the Electoral College and it’s usefulness below…


Graphic: Ali Zifan (USCB)

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