With Hillary Clinton currently leading President-elect Donald Trump in the popular vote, many people (including Mr. Trump) are calling for an overhaul of the election process by removing the Electoral College. Did the system fail? Based on the current model, no. Based on the voice of the people, yes. As reported on CNN, has Hillary Clinton with 62,013,985 votes, which is 1,054,482 more than Donald Trump, who is sitting with 60,959,503. It’s very clear that the majority of the people in the United States want Hillary Clinton to lead our country for the next four years. So, why isn’t she our President when she has more individual votes?
The United States Electoral College is ultimately the deciding factor for selecting our President. The Electoral College is comprised of 538 individuals, which coincides with the 435 State Representatives, 100 Senators, plus 3 Electors to represent Washington D.C. You often see the “magic number” of 270 electoral votes, which would represent a slight majority of the 538 votes cast. There is a possibility for a 269-269 tie, If this happened, the House of Representatives would then select the President by each state delegation casting a vote. If there’s still a tie at this point, each Senator casts a vote for President.
There have only been two occurrences in the last 200+ years where the popular vote didn’t match the projection of the Electoral College: 2000 & 2016.
The Electoral College seemingly discourages voter turnout in areas that are historically dominated by particular parties, which devalues the votes of individuals. For instance, take a look at Georgia. In this election, Donald Trump won 51% of the vote to 45% for Clinton, a margin of roughly 232,000 votes. Knowing that Georgia is traditionally Republican state, and knowing that whether a Republican win, regardless of how thin a popular margin, would net all 16 electoral votes, how inclined are certain demographics of people to participate, knowing that their state will cast a vote that isn’t truly indicative of the population?
If there isn’t an overhaul of the system, there needs to be widespread education on how the system works for the people.