The electoral college is the quint essential glue that holds the states together. It transforms the presidential election from being about the few over populated areas into being about 51 local elections. Thanks to the constitution, the United Sates of America is united by the Federal Government but more importantly it gives each state the right to be divided as their residents see fit. Each state is beautiful and unique in their own ways. What works for Californians doesn’t work for Floridians.
The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States senators by the people of the states. Local government is responsible for the quality of education, policing & public safety, affordable housing, public transit, job training programs, recycling options… etc. The list goes on and on. The majority your day to day life is a direct result of the popular vote in the state you live. As citizens of the United States of America we have the ability to choose to live in a state that suites our individual needs and ideals.
Majority rules in state elections. However, the phrase United States rings true in the presidential elections. Thanks to the electoral college the minority has a say. The design forces candidates to reach out across the country rather than focusing on just one region or group of highly populated cities or places. The President’s role is consequential to all 51 states. The Commander in Chief protects all 50 states and DC from foreign attacks, coordinates the efforts of over 150 different departments and agencies that operate in all 50 states.
The electoral college disperse of power protects Presidential elections from partisan political elites. The 51 local elections give each state and DC a designated amount of electoral votes based on their population instead of the popular vote being a national sum. This keeps local political agencies local, alleviating a powerful institutional incentive to tamper with the voting system. Though unattended by our founders, the electoral college within a two party system is a built-in restrainer of voter fraud. States dominated by one-party within a two-party nation would have corrupting incentives to expand margins of victory in a presidential race. The states and DC should be able to reliably manage local races.
The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election. So next time you hear we should eliminate the electoral college think about it like a puzzle, yes the corners and edges are the most popular pieces but it takes all the pieces to paint the picture.