Territories and states do not vote; people do


Becca Ady, Guest Columnist (She/her)

When looking at past elections, there have been instances where the winner of the popular vote has not won the presidency because of the electoral college.

No other developed country has an electoral college, and it works perfectly for their elections.

The United States could easily do without the electoral college and still have fair elections, just by using the popular vote.

During the 2020 election, Joe Biden was in the lead the entire night of Nov. 3 and the weeks after while states were still counting votes. Without having an electoral college, we would know the results much faster because we would not have to wait until the Monday after the second Wednesday in December to figure out the official results.

Since 1888, there have been three instances of the candidate losing the election but winning the electoral college. In 1888, Grover Cleveland lost the popular vote, but won the electoral college. In 2000, George Bush lost the popular vote but won in the electoral college. And as we all know, in 2016, Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won in the electoral college.

In all of these instances, we should have had a different person become president than we actually did. Without the electoral college, we can have a more accurate representation of the U.S. population in the White House with just the popular vote.

The electoral college is problematic in that the people who vote in the electoral college do not have to vote the same way their states do. This causes distrust in the system. It does not say in the Constitution that electors need to vote the way their states do in the popular vote. The move to abolish the electoral college would need a constitutional amendment, which would be highly unlikely today, considering how polarized the parties are.

A way to get around this is to require states to vote in the electoral college the way they do in the popular vote. For instance in 2016, since Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes, she should have become president.

The founders set up the electoral college because they wanted to make the north and south equals and because they believed most people were not informed enough to make smart decisions on who their next leader should be. The electoral college forces candidates to focus on swing states, such as Florida and Pennsylvania, which causes them to not think about other states, like California and South Dakota. If we got rid of the electoral college, candidates would have to go to more states to try and win their votes.

The electoral college is an outdated idea that should no longer be in place. Many people have said it should be abolished, and I agree.

Without the electoral college, candidates will have to convince all states to vote for them, not just a few swing states. By going with the popular vote alone we will have a more accurate representation of the United States in the White House, and get results out much faster, which I think we can all agree is a step in the right direction.