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  • Ah, the U.

  • S presidential election.

  • The candidate with the most votes wins, right?

  • Wrong.

  • It's not that simple unless you mean simple isn't stupid because the U.

  • S presidential voting system is really dumb and it has everything to do with the Electoral College.

  • In two out of six of the last presidential elections, the Electoral College gave us a president that a majority of the population didn't vote for.

  • That's crazy.

  • This is why the Electoral College needs to die in eight minutes.

  • Ever wonder why we're always talking about Pennsylvania and Florida?

  • Now, as the votes come in, you can see if I press this Pennsylvania turns blue.

  • If I press it this way, it turns red, blue, red, blue, red, purple And now now it's broken.

  • Jennifer, my screen broke.

  • Why does it seem like Onley?

  • A few states control the entire election.

  • What about the voters in California or Louisiana?

  • Doesn't their vote count for something?

  • Our American electoral system is terribly undemocratic, and that's mostly due to the Electoral College and how most states are winner take all before we dive into the history.

  • Let's do a quick refresher on how U s presidential elections work.

  • So when we go vote, we might be ticking the box next to the candidate of our choice.

  • But we're not really voting for that candidate were actually voting for an elector that goes to a electoral college, and then they vote for the president.

  • And yes, of course, electors Air supposed to represent the popular will of the state.

  • But that's not always the case.

  • There was this thing called a faithless elector, for example, in 2016 to Texan electors refused to vote for Trump and instead cast votes for Governor Kasich and Ron Paul.

  • Now, that's not the only way electors have or could fail to represent the will of the people.

  • And that's because it's actually up to the state to decide how electors work.

  • Sure, most states go with majority takes all but a state could decide that due to perceive voter fraud or in an attempt to take advantage of delays in the vote count and so they could move to appoint their own electors.

  • Regardless of the vote outcome, check out the Constitution.

  • Article two.

  • Why does it seem like some states hold more power than other states?

  • The Constitution requires a group of electors to form every four years for the sole purpose of electing a president and vice president of the United States.

  • Spelled out in Article two, Section one of the Constitution.

  • Each state is to receive the same number of electors as they have representatives in Congress.

  • You take the total number of representatives plus two senators.

  • That adds up to a total of 538 electors, so you currently need 270 to win.

  • Unfortunately, with the system, every vote counts does not mean that every vote counts equally.

  • For example, Wyoming has three electoral votes and a population of around 580,000.

  • Compare that to California, a state that has 55 electoral votes and around 39.5 million residents.

  • Those numbers suggest that an individual bone, Wyoming, is 3.7 times more influential than an individual vote in California.

  • And that being said, we never talk about Wyoming or California because they're not swing states.

  • So in that respect, it would make sense of either had residents that felt like their vote didn't matter.

  • Look, it's confusing, and even our president has flip flopped on his feelings on the Electoral College when he's certainly been one of the biggest beneficiaries of its inequality.

  • In 2012, the president tweeted about his disdain for the Electoral College, saying the Electoral College is a disaster for democracy.

  • And then four years later, just days after his win, he tweets.

  • The Electoral College is actually genius, and then it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play.

  • Campaigning is much different.

  • Then President Trump appeared on Fox and Friends in 2018, appearing to flip flop yet again.

  • It's an election based on the Electoral College.

  • I would rather have the popular vote because it's to me.

  • It's much.

  • It's a totally different set of goals.

  • And Donald Trump's not the only sometimes critic of the Electoral College.

  • The Electoral College has received MAWR proposed constitutional amendments than any other topic.

  • And to find out why it's important to look at how it all began.

  • The Electoral College was created at the Constitutional Convention of 17 87 so on Lee White property owning men could vote at the time, but they still didn't trust them to make smart choices on their own.

  • They wanted a middleman.

  • Now this is where it gets a little dark.

  • Because slavery had a huge impact on the formation of the Electoral College, most voters white landowning males lived in the north because Southern states spot for the 3/5 compromise in which the apportionment for each date was the state's population, plus 3/5 of its enslaved population.

  • Southern states had on overall larger population and therefore MAWR electors.

  • So, compared to the North, the votes of relatively few Southern individuals held more weight.

  • Probably not surprisingly, four of the five first presidents were from Virginia, the state with the largest slave population.

  • Just as every state has two senators, regardless of its size, you can see how this system favors smaller states.

  • In the 19th century, twice the electoral vote winner was not the popular vote winner.

  • This is a phenomenon called electoral inversion.

  • First in 18 76 with Rutherford B.

  • Hayes, the Democrat Samuel Tilden won 51% of the popular vote, compared to 48% for Hayes.

  • But four states Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana and Oregon all had contested elections, so no.

  • 11 those state electors, How did they decide who won in the compromise of 18 77.

  • Hayes was given the contestant electors in return for Republicans withdrawing troops from the South, essentially ending reconstruction.

  • Then again, in 18 88 Benjamin Harrison narrowly carried swing states to win the majority of electors, even though his Democratic rival, Grover Cleveland, won a higher percentage of the popular vote.

  • Now, in our more recent history, there's 2016 when we know.

  • Then there's 2000, when the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount, ultimately giving Bush the Florida electors and the presidency, even though Gore won the popular vote.

  • And it's not like we haven't tried to fix this before.

  • In 1969 there was a bipartisan effort to get rid of the Electoral College.

  • That amendment actually passed in the House, but it was filibustered in the Senate by segregation of Southern states that didn't want to give the North too much power.

  • And yes, this is all confusing and frustrating.

  • As Cornell professor Josh Chafetz put it, the Electoral College is worse than merely useless.

  • Its primary function is to mala portion political power, and it does so indeed has always done so with strikingly awful consequences.

  • so, Yeah, Electoral College is stupid, but what can we do about it?

  • I mean, can we change it?

  • Overhauling the Electoral college system would be, ah, lengthy and complicated process.

  • It would require a constitutional amendment with approval from two thirds of the House of Representatives, two thirds of the Senate and 3/4 of the states.

  • And that's a big ass, especially considering the last amendment that passed was the 27th in 1992 nearly 30 years ago.

  • It's also less likely that an amendment whatever passed because Republicans concede, e that they're benefiting from these electoral inversions.

  • But there are other options.

  • There's the National Popular Vote Initiative, whose objective is to get states to sign onto a compact that would effectively abolish the Electoral College without a constitutional amendment.

  • Any state signing onto this compact would simply agree to award their electors to the candidate winning the national popular vote.

  • As many as 15 states plus D.

  • C have already signed on.

Ah, the U.

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Why The Electoral College Is Useless In 8 Minutes

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/15
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