Arguments against the Electoral College

  1. It’s too complicated. A direct election is simpler—just count up all the votes across the country, and whoever gets the most, wins. It’s how we do every other election—why should voting for president be different?
  2. Under the Electoral College, votes count only at the state level—if you vote Republican but your state goes Democrat (or vice versa), then your candidate doesn’t get any of your state’s Electoral votes—they all go to the other guy. In a direct election, everybody’s vote is counted at the national level.
  3. The mathematical advantage to the Electoral College accumulates over the course of many, many elections. In any given year, you may not have any power at all. If you live in a small state, you may go your entire life without having any influence over the presidential election.
  4. Under the Electoral College, a candidate can lose the popular vote but win the electoral vote and become president. This has happened three times—1876, 1888 and 2000—and strikes many people as unfair.

However, the Electoral College is written into the US Constitution. There’s no way to get rid of it without an amendment. And since doing away with the College would weaken the voice of smaller states, it’s unlikely such an amendment would ever pass. For better or worse, this is the system we’ve got.

For arguments in favor of the Electoral College, go here.

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