America’s Electoral College: Warts, Genius, and All…

— By Jerry Cates. First published on 27 November 2016 and last expanded on 30 November 2016. © Govinthenews Vol. 7:11(2).


In America, what do we call a candidate for U.S. president who loses the popular vote, but wins the electoral college vote?

Uh… “President”?

Yep. According to history, that’s exactly what Americans call such a person. We’ve done it multiple times in the past. And now, in the election of 2016, we’ve gone and done it again.

Soon after the presidential election of 2016 it became clear that although Trump had amassed the necessary electoral votes to win, he’d failed to receive as many popular votes as his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He won because the distribution of electoral college votes does not correspond to the distribution of voters.

To many Americans that’s downright Un-American.

If we are to believe Ryan Cooper, a leftist whose writings have surfaced in such publications as The Week, Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post, nobody benefits from the Electoral College. A 2014 article of his, published in The Week, carries the presumptuous title “Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?

Mr. Cooper is not alone. Need proof? Google with the key words Electoral College bad and you will see all the proof you need. The first article that Google listed on 11-30-16 (Google boasted the search produced 2,850,000 results) was Garrett Epp’s article “No, Electors in States Trump Won Should Not Vote for Clinton,” published on 11 November 2016 in The Atlantic. His article’s subtitle declares that “The Electoral College is a Terrible Device.”

Next was Eric Black’s 2012 article “10 reasons why the Electoral College is a problem.” And immediately after that came Andrew Prokop’s “Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained…” published on Nov 10, 2016, in Vox.com. Prokop goes on to describe the Electoral College as “… a patchwork Frankenstein’s monster of a system, which in the best of times merely ensures millions of Americans’ votes are irrelevant to the outcome because they don’t live in competitive states, and in the worst of times could be vulnerable to a major crisis.”

And next… whoa!

No, thankfully, I’m not about to even try to describe all 2,850,000 articles posted on the Internet that have negative views about the Electoral College. You get the point already… or do you? Let’s see… how about we Google with the key words Electoral College good and see what happens… amazingly, this time 14,700,000 results pop up!

Not all of those promote the Electoral College, just as not all of the 2,850,000 results from Electoral College bad trash it. But, isn’t it interesting that the second search produced over 5 times as many articles as the first one?

It so happens that there’s a very good reason why that is so.

How Electoral Votes are Allocated to Individual States and the District of Columbia:

Each U.S. state is allotted two groups of electoral college votes. The first group consists of one vote for every congressional district. States are apportioned into congressional districts by simply dividing the state’s total population by the number of people in the average U.S. congressional district. That number was approximately 708,376 people, the last time Congressional districts were revised. However, all states have at least one congressional district, and a few states have total populations that are fewer, or just a little more, than the average sized congressional district, so that figure is not exactly set in stone.

What is set in stone is the total number of voting Congressional districts (435) which was capped by the Reapportionment Act of 1929. Every 10 years the U.S. Department of Commerce conducts a census to determine the population totals throughout the land. The figures from each census are then used to determine the number of congressional districts each state is allotted, but the actual reapportionment of congressional districts does not take place until three years after the census is tabulated. It takes that long for each state time to redraw its congressional district boundaries. The complicated process that involves — which is often rife with dispute between competing political parties — is worthy of a separate discussion of its own, one which we will not tackle here.

The last census was conducted in 2010, and the next one isn’t scheduled until 2020. The last congressional reapportionment took place in 2013, and the next reapportionment will occur in 2023.

To summarize, a rough correspondence between individual voters and electoral votes — with respect to the group allocated according to congressional districts — occurs in states with moderate to large populations. However, that correspondence is lost in large, sparsely populated states, as well as in small, densely populated ones.

The second group of electoral votes is allocated equally to each state, one electoral vote for each of the state’s two senators. In addition, Washington D.C. is allocated as many electoral votes as if it were a state, but no more than that of the least populous state (Wyoming, with three votes). Although Washington D.C. is allotted a congressional district for purposes of the Electoral College, it does not vote in the House of Representatives, and thus the population of Washington D.C. is not counted when computing the average size of each congressional district.

The Electoral College, being a combination of both groups, contains a total of 538 electors: 435 representing congressional districts, 100 representing each of the two senators from the 50 states, and 3 representing the District of Columbia. Each electoral vote, if spread equally across the total population in America, including Washington D.C. (601,767), as tabulated in the census conducted in 2010 (308,758,105), would represent 573,900 persons. Yes, persons, not citizens; the census includes not only citizens, but documented non-citizens as well as undocumented, illegal aliens, and each is counted equally for purposes of apportioning congressional districts.

This combined process, particularly as it is affected by the second group of electoral votes, biases the power of the electorate in favor of smaller states, and in favor of large states with relatively few residents. A consequence of this bias is that individual votes, cast in relatively large and populous states, don’t count as much as those cast in large but sparsely populated states, in small but densely populated states, or even in medium sized, moderately populated states.

So, Let’s Do the Math, for a Representative Subset of U.S. States…

The total U.S. population, according to the census of 2010, excluding the population of Washington D.C., was 308,156,338; California, with a 2010 pop. of 37,254,503, was apportioned 55 e.v. in 2013, or one e.v./677,355 residents; New York, with a 2010 pop. of 19,378,087, was apportioned 29 e.v. in 2013, or one e.v./668,209 residents; and Texas, with a 2010 pop. of 25,146,105, was apportioned 38 e.v. in 2013, or one e.v./661,740 residents.

By contrast Wyoming, with a 2010 pop. of 563,767, was and is apportioned the minimum 3 e.v. permitted, amounting to one e.v./187,922 residents; similarly Vermont, with a 2010 pop. of 625,745, also with the minimum 3 e.v. permitted, was apportioned one e.v./208,582 residents;  Louisiana, with a 2010 pop. of 4,533,479, was allotted 8 e.v. in 2013, which amounts to one e.v./566,585 residents; and Missouri, with a 2010 pop. of 5,988927, was allotted 10 e.v. in 2013, which amounts to one e.v./598,893 residents.

Now, let’s put that into perspective:

If every electoral vote cast by the Electoral College represented a fixed number of U.S. residents, one electoral vote would count as much an any other. That doesn’t happen. Each of the three electoral votes cast by the state of Wyoming represents only 187,922 2010-census residents, while each of the 38 electoral votes cast by the state of Texas represents 661,740 2010-census residents. This means that — at least as tabulated in the 2010 census — individual votes cast in Wyoming count 3.5 times as much as votes cast by Texans. Similarly, votes cast in Vermont count 3.17 times as much as votes cast by Texans; votes cast in Louisiana count 1.17 times as much as votes cast by Texans; and votes cast in Missouri count 1.11 times as much as votes cast by Texans.

If you happen to be a Texan that might make you feel somewhat disadvantaged compared to your neighbors in Louisiana, and quite disadvantaged compared to your compatriots in Wyoming. It may also make you wonder if the system is rigged against you. Yet, despite all the voting power an individual Wyoming voter is given, the voting power of the entire state — with a total area of 97,813 sq. miles (2.6% of the total area of the 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. [3,796,742 sq. miles]) — is vested in only three of the 538 total electoral votes nationwide. For Wyoming, Vermont, and the five remaining states and Washington D.C. with 3 electoral votes, this amounts to a minuscule 0.56% each, of the electoral vote total. By comparison, the aggregate voting power of the state of Texas is vested in 38 electoral votes, or 7.1% of the total, giving Texas almost 13 times the voting power of Wyoming. When viewed from that angle, the system — while still less than perfect — doesn’t seem quite so out of whack.

Changes since the 2010 Census…

You’ve probably noticed my constant, and no doubt annoying, references to the 2010 census. Sorry, but it needed to be done. None of the above figures takes into account the population changes that occur between census tabulations, and from one election to the next. Yet, those changes are often dramatic, and because the apportionment of electoral votes remains static during that same period, population changes impact the number of residents that every e.v. represents. For example, between 2010 and 2015 the population of Texas rose to 27,469,114, a net increase of 2,323,009 (that was up 9.2%, which raised the number of residents represented in each of Texas’s 38 electoral votes to 722,871).

California’s population, during the same period, rose to 39,144,818, a net increase of 1,890,315 (up 5.1%, raising the number of residents represented in each of California’s 55 electoral v0tes to 711,724). Note that the 2010 e.v./res. ratio was higher in California than in Texas. By 2015 that was reversed.

New York’s population between 2010 and 2015 rose to 19,795,791, an anemic net increase of only 417,704 (up just 2.2%, which raised the number of N.Y. residents represented in each of N.Y.’s 29 electoral votes to 682,614). Back in 2010, the e.v./res. ratio in N.Y. was higher than that for Texas, but by 2015 — as happened with California — that, too, was reversed.

Winner-Take-All States, vs. Maine & Nebraska…

One other factor also figures mightily in the electoral equation. All U.S. states except Maine and Nebraska allocate their electoral votes in a “winner take all” fashion. What this amounts to is that, except for Maine and Nebraska, each state votes as though it is an individual voter, i.e., one out of 50 individuals with varying voting powers determined by the number of electoral votes each brings to the table. This has important ramifications on the potential for serious disparities to arise between the popular vote and electoral vote totals recorded in a given presidential election.

For example, in a hypothetical nation of three equally populated states employing this method of vote-tabulation, a candidate who wins only 51% of the popular vote in two of the states, but is shut out of the third state, will win the electoral college and thus the election with only 34% of the popular vote. The other side of this picture is even more startling. If only one other candidate is in the race, that candidate would have lost the election, despite having won 66% of the popular vote!

The same outcome would occur in an election held by three individual voters, casting one vote each for two separate candidates, and nobody would consider such an outcome unfair. Individual voters aren’t always 100% behind the candidate they vote for, but usually like some of what the other candidate has to offer even if, in the main, the platform of the candidate they prefer has a deciding edge. A state acts much the same way, with one fraction preferring one candidate over the other, and another fraction with preferences that move them to vote for the other candidate. Yet, when many of us try to apply that logic to our electoral system, the analogy isn’t quite as obvious. This is particularly true for those who think of America as one big whole rather than as an amalgamation of 50 distinct and separate states.

We sometimes forget that each American state, if it chooses to do so (and all but two do make that choice), is entitled to cast its vote in a block rather than as fractions meted out to each of several candidates. When we fail to think of America as a union of 50 states, and incorrectly view our nation as an amorphous blend of individual voters spread out from sea to shining sea, the concerns generated by such hypotheticals can move us to question the value of America’s constitutionally mandated Electoral College.

But enough about hypotheticals. What isn’t hypothetical is the fact that, in its 240 year existence as a nation, America has recorded five instances in which the candidate for president won the election with less popular votes than his opponent, and one additional instance in which strong evidence suggests the winner of the electoral college votes lost the popular vote. That fact, what it means, and whether it is good or bad, is the subject of this article.

Presidents who Lost the Popular Vote, but Won in the Electoral College:

John Quincy Adams: election of 1824 

It is not unheard of for an American president to be elected who did not receive a majority of votes from the electorate. In fact, that happened as early as the election of 1824, when John Quincy Adams was elected president on February 9, 1824. Adams, who had received fewer electoral votes (84) than Andrew Jackson (99), and fewer popular votes (113,122) than Jackson (151,271), was chosen over Jackson by the House of Representatives in accord with the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Twelfth Amendment, which had been proposed by Congress on December 9, 1804, was ratified by the States on June 15, 1805, less than 19 years earlier.

The Twelfth Amendment replaced the procedure under which, in Art. II, Sec. 1 (3) of the U.S Constitution, the Electoral College originally functioned. That procedure was found problematic in the election of 1796, the only election in American history in which a president and vice president were elected from opposing tickets.

Another issue had arisen in 1800, an election in which was laid bare a problem just waiting to happen. Electors were required to vote for two names for president. The candidate with the largest number of electoral college votes won the presidency, while the runner-up became vice president by default. Yet, because each elector who voted for Jefferson also voted for Burr, the result was a tie. This forced the House of Representatives to decide the election in a contentious floor squabble wherein 36 ballots would be cast before America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, was finally elected. The Twelfth Amendment resolved this latter flaw by requiring electors to cast two separate votes, one specifically for president and another, specifically for the office of vice president.

It was widely speculated that the outcome of the election of 1824 was orchestrated by the Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, who convinced the body to choose Adams over Jackson. Clay was soon selected by Adams to be his Administration’s Secretary of State, a plum that fueled charges of collusion, and that was termed by Jackson’s supporters as a “Corrupt Bargain.” Game Theory calculations recently carried out, however, suggest that the outcome was consistent with the concept of “sincere voting.” The members of the House unable to cast votes for their favorite candidate simply voted for their next favorite one, and by that process united in favor of Adams.

Rutherford B. Hayes: election of 1876

In 1876 it happened again. In that election, which most historians agree was one of the most controversial elections in American history, Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York received 4,288,546 popular votes, while Republican Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio received only 4,034,311. When the Electoral College met to cast their votes, Tilden was awarded 184 electoral votes and Hayes 165, but 20 electoral votes remained unresolved.

Both political parties claimed they had won the states of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Furthermore, in Oregon, one elector was found to be illegal and had to be replaced. The election was finally decided in what became known as the Compromise of 1877: All 20 electoral votes went to Hayes; In return the Republicans agreed to remove federal troops from the South, a move that effectively ended Reconstruction, returned control of the Southern states to the Democrats, and enabled them to resume their nefarious pre-Civil War political strategies, which included disenfranchising blacks.

This outcome came to be characterized as America’s second “Corrupt Bargain,” which — as with that of the election of 1824 — implied a pattern of unethical behavior at high levels. Again, however, modern historians have come to consider the Compromise of 1877 as more a natural consequence of strong undercurrents that moved the actors involved to legitimize de facto decisions that had already been put into play by a swarm of competing interests and concerns.

Benjamin Harrison: election of 1888

When Grover Cleveland of New York, a Democrat and the incumbent president, sought reelection to a second term, he was opposed by the Republican nominee from Indiana, Benjamin Harrison. Prosperity and peace, usually enough to win the day for an incumbent, failed to keep Cleveland in office, even though he won the popular vote. Cleveland’s campaign against tariffs, and his opposition to Civil War pensions and inflated currency, made him unpopular among veterans and farmers.

Harrison, who championed industrialists and factory workers by promising to keep tariffs high, handily carried nearly all the northern and midwestern states, and narrowly won in the swing states of New York (Cleveland’s home state) and Indiana, giving him the majority of electoral college votes.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy: election of 1960 (disputed)

It is a little known fact that the way the vote was tallied in Alabama during the 1960 election had the effect of making it appear that Kennedy not only won the popular vote in Alabama, but nationally as well. Based on the convoluted way the Alabama vote was recorded, however, it could reasonably be argued that, had a more rational and customary approach been taken to record the vote tally, Nixon should have been the recipient of both (see Fund, 2003). But I digress

Nationally, according to the official tally of 68 million votes cast, Kennedy received only 113,000 more than Nixon. Today it is an all-but-accepted fact that voter fraud in Texas, Illinois, and a number of other states where political machines run by Democrats were well known for their ballot-box-stuffing tactics, had tipped the total in Kennedy’s direction.

In Texas, home of JFK’s running mate Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy won by only 46,000 votes. LBJ was known as one of the most savvy (read crooked) politicos in Congress, and had he and his cronies not taken underhanded steps to manipulate the vote in Texas practically everyone in the know would have been surprised.

In Illinois, Kennedy’s win was by an even slimmer margin (9,000 votes). Yet, in one particular county in Illinois (Cook) he’d garnered a suspiciously overwhelming margin of 450,000.

Only three days after the election the Chairman of the Republican party, Senator Thruston Morton, sought recounts and investigations in 11 states. Eight days later Bob Finch, Len Hall, and a number of other close Nixon aides assigned agents to conduct what they called “field checks” in eight of those states.

In the end, all those efforts to uncover voter fraud came to naught. Ironically, the net effect of the recount petitions was to give Hawaii’s electoral votes, which Nixon had initially won, to Kennedy. However, what those efforts did accomplish was to demonstrate an important truth that is as true today as it was way back then:

Once an election gets stolen, it is almost impossible to recover the goods. Many, if not most, of the practices involved in genuine, well-orchestrated voter frauds go undetected in a recount. That is one of the risks of the secret ballot, and it is a risk that can only be minimized by requiring proof of citizenship and identity during voter registration and later, when and where the ballots are cast.

Certain elements of America’s voting system — particularly those surrounding such things as motor-voter, absentee balloting, and aggressive, even automatic voter registration procedures — make it all too easy to circumvent the meager proof of citizenship and voter identification safeguards in force today. That is one of the biggest reasons why, despite strong evidence that rampant voter fraud has regularly taken place in a number of big-city jurisdictions, nay-sayers are able to claim with a straight face that evidence of voter fraud, anywhere in America, is practically non-existent. 

Still, strong and all-but-undeniable indications that serious voter fraud was involved in the 1960 election persist to the present day. Former Justice Department prosecuter Seymour Hersh, for example, who was able to gain access to FBI wiretaps from that period, publicly concluded that Nixon had actually won Illinois. Hersh believed J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, had also concluded Nixon was the legitimate winner of the presidency. But, following the accepted protocol of the day, Hoover referred the FBI’s findings to the then-attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, and RFK — no surprise here — let the investigation die.

George W. Bush: election of 2000

In the election of 2000, though Albert Gore received 543,895 more votes than George W. Bush, the latter was chosen as America’s president by the Electoral College. The final result of the election was determined by the swing state of Florida. There, due to Bush’s narrow victory margin on election night, a mandatory recount was mandated. Soon questionable practices involved in the recount process prompted litigation that led to additional recounts.

Most practices called into question had to do with the way ballots with “hanging chads” were tallied. Before long, owing to public outcries over the supposedly shady ways theses practices were being carried out, live television cameras, broadcasting on public news networks, were placed in the counting rooms, so all America, and the whole world at large, could witness how the process was being conducted.

Still, even live coverage was not enough to calm the waters. Eventually the litigation extended to the U.S. Supreme Court, which announced its decision on December 12, 2000. This ended the recount, awarded Florida’s electoral votes to Bush, and granted him the presidency.

Donald J. Trump: election of 2016

In this latest American presidential election, the earliest election results immediately put Donald J. Trump in the lead, both in terms of popular vote and that of the Electoral College. Throughout the night and even into the early hours of the next day, the steadily mounting Electoral College and popular vote leads for Trump were never challenged. The election was eventually called for the Donald, early in the morning after the polls closed, by every news network. Soon even Hillary Clinton conceded that she had lost and her opponent had triumphed.

As the hours continued, vote totals for the largest states on the east and west coasts were firmed up, and — to nobody’s surprise — Hillary Clinton’s numbers kept climbing. Never did those numbers rise to the point that Trump’s Electoral College lead was threatened, but it wasn’t long before the popular vote for Clinton eclipsed that for Trump.

But, How Many Non-Citizens Voted in 2016? And for whom?

It bears mentioning that those coastal states producing the huge vote margins for Hillary Clinton are rife with allegations of widespread registration of, and voting by, non-citizens (mostly undocumented, illegal aliens). Though publicized claims that upward of 3,000,000 non-citizens voted in this election have yet to progress beyond mere allegations, a 2014 paper, published by three Harvard University professors, included the claim that 6.4% of America’s non-citizens voted in the 2008 presidential election, and that 2.2% of America’s non-citizens voted in the 2010 midterm congressional elections.

These are not trivial allegations. Fortunately, though, unlike other forms of voter fraud, non-citizen registration and voting is — at least theoretically — subject to verification. Several non-profit investigatory organizations (yes, the very organizations that Obama’s Internal Revenue Service did its very best to keep from achieving tax exempt status) are presently poring over the voter registration rolls in California, New York, Virginia, Oregon, Washington State, and other places where voter fraud of this kind is suspected to have taken place. As a result those claiming such fraud has occurred will eventually be able to either prove or disprove their allegations.

Inner-City Votes, vs. those from Suburbia and Rural America…

A more controversial question deals with the relative values of the votes that are cast in large metropolitan cities vs. those that are cast in suburbia and rural America. To many, just asking the question is blasphemy, but hear me out. Don’t confuse this question with that of the power of the vote, discussed earlier. The two issues are related, but they don’t correspond exactly. The question at hand here is more complicated, as it deals with the motivation behind each vote.

Ideally each voter who casts a vote in a given election does so from a position of knowledge and understanding. That foundation then drives him or her to cast a vote for a particular candidate on his or her own volition, without being urged on, or coerced, by either individuals or organizations with an agenda.

That ideal is rarely met. Coercion is exercised from a number of quarters, and include such initiatives as “Get out the Vote” (GOTV) drives that have significant power to bias how votes are cast. Such initiatives are most often conducted by Democrat-sponsored agencies and are both more prevalent and more successful in large population centers. Those who respond to such initiatives tend, by design, to vote for the candidates the sponsoring agency promotes.

By way of contrast, in suburbia and rural America those who vote are more likely to vote from a position of knowledge about the candidate’s platform. This results from two causes, one being the fact that in such locations Republicans are often more numerous than Democrats, the other that the logistics of running an effective GOTV initiative out in the boonies are more costly and cumbersome than in the inner city.

Should we compare the value of the votes, in the aggregate, that emanate from these disparate groupings of voters? Perhaps not. On the other hand, should government be engaged in actively supporting get-out-the-vote drives if it can be seen that such activities favor one political party over another? That one is easy to answer, and the answer is No, because doing so is easily shown to be, in effect, a violation of the Hatch Act of 1939. Yet, for some reason, the connection between such governmental interference in the electoral process and the Hatch Act has been lost on the present generation.

The Final Tally…

Today, in the waning days of November 2016, the accepted popular vote for Hillary Clinton stands at 62,523,126, compared to Trump’s 61,201,031. Thus, Hillary won the popular vote by a total of 1,322,095. Out of 123,724,157 votes cast, Hillary beat Trump by a margin of 1.07%. Yet Trump’s Electoral College lead (306 vs. 232) remains in place, and — regardless of whether one counts it as warts or genius — it is that lead that matters. Unless challenges to the recorded vote work to upset the vote totals in certain swing states, and barring huge defections of electors who cast votes for candidates other than those for whom their states expect them to vote, Donald J. Trump will be elected America’s next president.

As has happened in the past, the news that Trump lagged behind Hillary Clinton in popular vote tallies led to renewed debate on the purpose, and rationale behind, the Electoral College. Soon came demands, from a number of fronts but from Democrats in particular, that this peculiarly American institution be abolished.

The Electoral College is and always has been the topic of much divisive debate. Whenever we are faced with something as divisive as this, our natural response should be to investigate the underlying premisses to determine which make sense and which do not. The results of such an investigation produced this article. Hopefully it has shed more light than smoke, though if history is our guide nothing short of divine inspiration will give convincing proof one way or the other.

Since our nation’s founding over 700 bills have been introduced in Congress to modify or eradicate the Electoral College, yet none met with success. It is doubtful the most recent efforts will fare any better. A host of reasons lies behind that prediction.

Pure Democracy vs. Democratic Republic Forms of Government

Those who clamor for abolishing the Electoral College generally point to the fact that it is not compatible with a pure democracy. They are right. The Electoral College is, indeed, incompatible with a pure, direct democratic form of government. However, America was intentionally created, not as a pure democracy, but as a democratic republic. It is important to get that straight. It is also important to get straight that America was created that way for excellent reasons.

In Federalist 10 James Madison explained how the two forms of governance mentioned above differ. A pure democracy, he said, is a society consisting of a small number of citizens who assemble and administer the government in person. A republic, by contrast, is a government in which the scheme of representation takes place. That alone immediately disqualified a pure democratic form of government for America. Even at its founding it was too large, geographically and in population, to enable its citizens to assemble and administer the government in person. But, he went on, even if that were not the case, a pure democracy would never work, particularly in light of the purpose behind our founding. He then explained why:

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Reducing the Risks of Tyranny

America was founded on the principle that its citizens are endowed with specific inalienable rights that inure to everyone. Those rights make each of us equal; not one of us should ever be swallowed up by the masses, as naturally takes place in a pure democracy. Madison pointed out that pure democracies favor majorities over minorities. By their very nature they trample on individual rights. Tyranny in such a government always triumphs over liberty, and that opens the door to the regular election of tyrants to the highest office in the land. The inevitable result, he said, is the demise of democracy altogether.

Tyrants cannot be eliminated from the office of the presidency by mere electoral stratagems. We have proof of that even in this new, still juvenile millennium. However, we can still reduce the risk that tyrants will be elected with regularity, and the electoral college is one of the most powerful means for that at our disposal.


References:

  1. Black, Eric. 2012. 10 reasons why the Electoral College is a problem. MinnPost.
  2. Cooper, Ryan. 2014. Which States get Screwed Worst by the Electoral College? TheWeek.com
  3. Epps, Garrett. 2016. The Electoral College is Bad, Subverting it Now is Bad for Democracy. The Atlantic.
  4. Fund, John. 2003. A Minority President: George W. Bush “lost the popular vote.” So did JFK. The Wall Street Journal.
  5. Prokop, Andrew. 2016. Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained. Vox.com

— Questions? Corrections? Comments? e-mail jerry.cates@govinthenews.info. You may also register, log in, and leave a detailed comment in the space provided below.

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